Oil Prices Rise on U.S.-China Trade Hopes

Oil prices rose Monday, fueled by hopes of progress in trade relations between China and the U.S.

Futures on West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. reference price, were recently up 2.1% at $55.93 a barrel. Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, rose 1.5% to $59.54 a barrel.

Some investors were encouraged by signs that the Trump administration was trying to dial back its rhetoric with China. Over the weekend, administration officials said they would give Chinese telecom company Huawei Technologies Co. more time to work with U.S. customers and said the White House was laying the groundwork for a new round of trade talks with Chinese officials in Washington, D.C.

Pump jacks operating in Midland, Texas. Heightened tensions in the Middle East also buoyed oil prices on Monday.


Photo:

nick oxford/Reuters

Concerns that a trade war will hurt economic growth and dent commodity demand have been a key factor weighing on the price of oil and other raw materials in recent months.

Heightened tensions in the Middle East also buoyed oil prices. Yemen’s Houthi rebels struck Saudi Arabia’s Shaybah oil field, one of the kingdom’s largest, Saudi officials and the Houthis said Saturday, deepening tensions between Iran and its rivals that have engulfed the region’s energy facilities.

In base metals, copper for August delivery rose 0.3% to $2.5970 a pound. Concerns over growth in China—the world’s largest copper consumer—have hurt prices for the metal this year.

At the same time, easing geopolitical and economic worries weighed on gold, a popular destination for nervous investors.

August gold was recently off 0.8% to $1,500.40 a troy ounce, though prices aren’t far off a six-year high hit earlier this month.

Write to Ira Iosebashvili at ira.iosebashvili@wsj.com

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