Oil Rises to Three-Month High on Supply and Trade Optimism

Oil hovers near three-month highs on trade deal progress; set for third weekly rise

Oil holds above $60 as US stockpiles seen shrinking

Oil prices have risen since the United States and China agreed a so-called phase one trade deal earlier this month following months of tit-for-tat negotiations that unsettled markets.

Crude stocks, however, are expected to have fallen by about 1.8 million barrels last week, a second week of declines, according to a preliminary Reuters poll.

Under the deal due to be signed in January, the United States is expected to agree to reduce some tariffs in return for a big increase in purchases of USA agricultural products by Chinese importers.

American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was at $61.33 a barrel at the same time for a 0.23% increase after ending the previous session at $61.19 per barrel.

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"Demand for oil products will be formed under the influence of growing consumption in the transport sector simultaneously with decreasing demand in the household and commercial sectors, as well as in the electric power industry", the draft also said.

USA economic growth nudged up in the third quarter, the government confirmed on Friday, and there are signs the US economy more or less maintained the moderate pace of expansion as the year ended, supported by a strong labor market.

The roughly 17-month trade war between the world's two largest economies has hit global growth and demand for oil, weighing on crude prices for most of the year.

Most markets around the world had limited trading on Wednesday due to Christmas Day. "Oil prices have continued to show year-end strength supported by a combination of definitive progress on the U.S". Innes, chief market strategist for Asia at AxiTrader.

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Brent crude was up 29 cents, or 0.4%, at $68.21 a barrel at 0903 GMT.

The agreement between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait allows "the resumption of oil production from the joint fields", the Saudi energy ministry said on Twitter.

As recently as early December, OPEC+ nations agreed to deepen their oil output cuts in the first quarter of 2020 to 1.7m barrels a day, with Russian Federation being required to reduce its own production by 70,000 b/d to 300,000 b/d as part of the deal. The contract added 8 cents on Monday.

Oil prices rose on Tuesday in thin pre-Christmas trading after Russia's energy minister said cooperation with OPEC to support the market would continue and as analysts forecast a second weekly decline in USA crude inventories.

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