Oil gains 1% as China pushes Trump for more tariff rollbacks

New York (Reuters) – Oil prices rose more than 1% on Tuesday on hopes for a U.S.-China trade agreement and optimism that Washington could roll back some tariffs on Chinese imports.

Brent crude LCOc1 futures rose 74 cents, or 1.2%, to $62.87 a barrel by 12:56 p.m. EST (1756 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures rose 68 cents, or 1.2%, to $57.22 a barrel.

China is pushing U.S. President Donald Trump to remove more tariffs imposed in September as part of a so-called Phase 1 deal, which would ease the economic impact of the trade dispute between the world’s two biggest oil consumers.

“While such a development could accommodate a signing of a Phase 1 deal that would allow for a further increase in risk acceptance and hence, bullish spillover from the equities and into the oil complex, a major long term agreement still appears elusive well into next year,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates in Galena, Illinois, said in a report.

OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said the oil market outlook for 2020 may be brighter than previously forecast, appearing to downplay any need for deeper production cuts.

Meanwhile, Asia’s oil demand growth is expected to more than double to 815,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2020, the head of energy consulting firm FGE said on Tuesday.