WTI (oil futures on NYMEX) climbed more than a dollar from the Asian lows of 52.14, having hit fresh five-week tops at 53.31 before receding slightly to near 53.10 levels. It’s worth noting that the black gold is on track to book the second straight weekly gain, having risen nearly 10% so far this week.
The sentiment around the barrel of WTI remains buoyed amid increased odds of a US-China trade resolution, especially after the US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin noted that the Chinese Vice Premier Liu will visit the US end-of this month for further negotiations. China is the world’s second largest oil consumer after the US.
Meanwhile, falling Iranian crude exports combined with the OPEC supply cuts underway offer further impetus to the ongoing bullish momentum in oil prices. Sources: Iran's crude exports stay subdued in January despite waivers - Reuters
Further, broad-based US dollar weakness amid risk-on trades and dovish Fedspeak also add to the upside in the commodity. However, markets remain cautious amid looming oversupply worries, especially after the EIA report showed swelling US fuel stocks and record high output levels.
Attention now turns towards the US CPI report and Bakers Hughes oil rigs count data due later in the NA session for fresh near-term trading opportunities.