Crude oil prices were flat throughout the week ending Dec. 13 but posted gains on Thursday and Friday after investors became hopeful about the phase one deal in Sino-American trade talks, which implies higher global demand for the commodity.
Price of Brent crude oil started Monday at $64.29 per barrel but fell to as low as $63.01 a barrel on Wednesday when it posted a daily loss of almost 1%. The international benchmark gained 0.75% on Thursday and it was trading at $65.06 per barrel at 1250 GMT for a weekly gain of 1.2%.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) started Monday at $59.11 a barrel but slumped to as much as $58.11 per barrel on Wednesday when it had a daily decline of 0.8%. The American benchmark rose 0.71% on Thursday and it was trading at $59.79 at 1255 GMT for a weekly increase of 1.15%.
Both benchmarks decreased Wednesday after commercial crude oil inventories in the U.S. increased by 0.8 million barrels last week, against the market expectation of a decline of 2.8 million barrels.
Oil prices, however, started to increase late Thursday after U.S. President Donald Trump said his country is "Getting VERY close to a BIG DEAL with China," adding on Twitter "They want it, and so do we!"
Investors are now optimistic that the world's two largest economies can strike the phase one deal before Washington's additional 15% tariffs on $160 billion worth of Chinese imports are scheduled to kick in on Sunday.
Over the last 20 months, Washington has imposed tariffs on $550 billion worth of Chinese imports, while Beijing retaliated by implementing tariffs on $185 billion worth of American imports.
Due to the trade war between the world's two biggest economies and oil consumers, overall oil demand in the world is expected to be weaker in 2020.
By Ovunc Kutlu