US crude rises to 2019 high as oil gains continue to support tight supply

File Reuters

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — US crude oil prices rose on Monday to their highest level since the beginning of 2019. Brent hit a dollar after the benchmark crude hit its biggest gain in the first quarter of any year in nearly a decade, supported by tight supply and positive signs for the global economy.

By 1325 GMT, the WTI crude futures rose 57 cents, or 0.95 percent, to $ 60.71 a barrel after briefly touching a four-month high of $ 60.92. US crude rose 32 percent in the first quarter.

London Brent crude for June delivery rose 86 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $ 68.44 a barrel after rising more than $ 1 earlier in the session and gaining 27 percent from January to March.

Sentiment was boosted by positive signs of Chinese factory performance and signs of progress in China-US trade talks, raising regional equity markets.

The United States and China said they had made progress in the trade talks that ended on Friday in Beijing. Washington said the negotiations were “constructive” as the world’s two largest economies sought to resolve their trade dispute.

US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, supply cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other major producers are contributing to price support.

OPEC output in March fell 280,000 bpd from February to 30.4 million bpd, the lowest monthly rate of production since 2015, a Reuters survey showed.

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