London — Oil prices rose 2% on Wednesday as the extension of US-China talks in Beijing raised hopes that the world’s two largest economies would resolve their trade standoff.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at $50.82 a barrel at 9.45am GMT, up $1.04, or 2.09%, the first time this year that WTI has topped $50. International Brent crude futures were up $1.09, or 1.86%, at $59.81 a barrel.
Both crude price benchmarks added to Tuesday’s 2% gains and have now been on the rise for eight straight days — their longest rally since June 2017.
“After a dreadful December for risk markets, crude oil continues to catch a positive vibe,” said Stephen Innes at futures brokerage Oanda in Singapore, citing tensions between the superpowers that have cast a pall over the world economy.
The trade talks in Beijing were carried over into an unscheduled third day on Wednesday, amid signs of progress on issues including purchases of US farm and energy commodities and increased US access to China’s markets.
“Talks with China are going very well!” US President Donald Trump tweeted, without elaborating. State newspaper China Daily said on Wednesday that Beijing was keen to put an end to its trade dispute with the US, but that any agreement must involve compromise on both sides.