Oil hits two-month high as China truce signals brighter outlook

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Sentiment once again triumphed over fundamentals in the crude trading community on Friday, with reports that China plans to increases purchases of USA goods over the next six year causing oil prices to reach a two month high.

The International Energy Agency said that U.S. oil production growth combined with a slowing global economy would put oil prices under pressure.

Faltering manufacturing and slumping exports have stirred concerns that China's economy, the oil market's engine of growth for more than a decade, is slowing.

Meanwhile, oversupply worries have eased as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other major crude exporters including Russian Federation agreed past year to cut supply starting this month to curb a global glut.

Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were down $0.44 at $60.88 a barrel by 1035 GMT, while USA crude futures CLc1 fell by $0.53 to $51.78 a barrel.

The EIA has estimated that USA crude oil production averaged 10.9 million bpd in 2018, rising by 1.6 million bpd from 2017 and reaching its highest level and seeing its largest volume growth on record.

Since the EIA report is positively correlated with API, the market will be trading crude oil with a bullish sentiment.

At 10:34 EST on Monday, WTI Crude was up 0.44 percent at $54.28, while Brent Crude was up 0.38 percent at $62.94.

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Ashton Whiteley analysts say the OPEC-led cuts may offer only a temporary reprieve as global demand and the threat of oversupply provide the biggest risk to oil prices.

"By the middle of the year, USA crude output will probably be more than the capacity of either Saudi Arabia or Russia", the Paris-based agency said in a report on Friday.

Earlier in the week, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said he's confident the cuts will have a "strong impact" on the market.

Crude prices also drive the cost of fuel made at the Marsden Point refinery, and the country's seasonal imports and exports of LPG. US crude futures fell $1.00 to $51.31 a barrel, off 1.9 percent.

Saudi supply in November had hit a record above 11 million bpd after President Trump demanded more oil be pumped.

This marks an increase from the end of 2018, but overall it will remain lower than the 2018 average of $71 per barrel, the EIA said.

However, the United States will continue to surprise on the upside. After closing out 2018 in free-fall, USA crude prices have rebounded more than 18 percent to start this year.

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