EYEAFRICA TV: Crude oil prices were up around 1 percent at the start of trading Wednesday through OPEC curbing oil production and with the ongoing trade talks between the U.S. and China generating investor optimism.
International benchmark Brent crude traded at $59.36 per barrel at 0645 GMT with a 1.3 percent gain after it closed Tuesday at $58.61 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $50.37 a barrel at the same time, seeing a 0.8 percent daily gain, after ending the previous session at $49.99 per barrel.
OPEC and its allies agreed on Dec. 7 to curb their total crude oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day beginning from Jan. 1 for six months. The agreement plans to trim some of the glut of supply in the global oil market and drive prices higher.
On the demand side, the U.S. and China have continued their trade negotiations in Beijing since Monday. A constructive outcome from the trade talks between the world’s two biggest economies could have a positive impact on the global economy and overall oil demand.
Expectations of a slowdown in the global economy in 2019, in addition to rising U.S. crude oil production, have led to some institutions lowering their oil price forecasts for this year.
American investment banking and financial services firm Goldman Sachs said Monday it expects Brent crude to average $62.50 per barrel this year, down from its prior estimate of $70 a barrel. WTI is forecast to average $55.50 a barrel in 2019, down from the previous expectation of $64.50 per barrel.
S&P Global Ratings said on Jan. 3 that it lowered its oil price forecast by $10 a barrel for 2019. The rating agency estimates that Brent crude will average $55 per barrel this year, instead of $65 per barrel; and that WTI will average $50 a barrel, instead of $60 a barrel.