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Oil Set For Second Weekly Gain On US-China Trade Hopes

Oil prices rose on Friday and remained on track for solid weekly gains, reflecting optimism that the United States and China can reach a reasonable trade deal before a March 2 deadline.

OPEC-led crude output cuts also tightened supply. Global benchmark Brent crude rose 0.6 percent to $62.05 per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 0.8 percent at $53.01 per barrel. Both Brent and WTI remain on track to post their second week of gains.

Prices remain supported by hopes that an all-out trade war between Washington and Beijing could be averted.

Three days of U.S.-Chinese talks aimed at ending a costly tariff battle wrapped up Wednesday in an optimistic atmosphere, with China's Commerce Ministry saying that the two sides held an "extensive, in-depth, and detailed exchange" on trade issues, including structural factors. Further negotiations would likely follow this month.

On the supply front, production cuts agreed by OPEC and its allies are on track to balance global oil markets in the first half of 2019.

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