Mon Feb 18, 2019, 10:33 AM

Oil Prices Near Three-Month High As Market Tightens

Oil prices rose early on Monday, extending last week’s gains amid rekindled hopes that the U.S. and China could reach a trade deal and growing signs of a tightening market, driven by OPEC’s production cuts and U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.

At 07:38 a.m. EST on Monday, WTI Crude was trading up 0.80 percent at $56.43, while Brent Crude eased off earlier gains to trade down 0.02 percent at $66.24.

Still, Brent Crude is currently on track for its best performance in a first quarter of a year since 2011. So far into 2019, oil prices have gained around 25 percent.

n Friday afternoon, oil prices reached their highest in three months and the highest so far this year, with Brent Crude exceeding $65 a barrel for the first time since November 2018. Bigger-than-expected cuts from OPEC and its de facto leader and largest producer Saudi Arabia helped push prices up. This bullish signal combined with renewed optimism coming from both the United States and China that they had made some progress in last week’s trade talks.

Here comes inflation at the gas pump.

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