Oil holds near 3-month highs over trade deal optimism, dip in US stockpiles


Oil held near three-month highs, with Brent crude Feb futures trading at $66.94/bbl (+0.1%), while WTI futures traded at $61.73/bbl.

Oil prices rose more than 20% in 2019, however, there were no sharp spikes. Crude futures have barely touched $70/bbl despite attacks on Saudi Arabia, sanctions on two OPEC members, and huge supply cuts from big oil producing countries.
Further, the immiment signing of the US-China trade deal has also lifted the demand outlook, supporting prices.
Meanwhile, the market is focusing on the middle east after the US conducted air strikes at militia in Iraq and Syria. Oil prices were also supported by a larger-than-expected fall in US crude stockpiles. US stockpiles fell by 5.5mn barrels in the week to Dec 20, much larger relative to forecasts.
Key data from Europe including the German retail sales for November is also expected to be keenly watched.

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