Oil prices firmed up this morning as hopes of a rebalancing loomed large on the horizon.
Strong Chinese import data and turmoil in the Middle East are two factors boosting prices, according to Reuters.
Brent was at $57.23 at 0914 GMT, up 98 cents. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was at $51.41 per barrel, up 81 cents from its last settlement.
Chinese oil imports hit 9 million barrels per day (bpd) in September, data showed on Friday. Imports averaged 8.5 million bpd between January and September, solidifying China’s position as the world’s biggest oil importer.
Tensions in Iraq also helped prices.
Local media in the country is reporting that tens of thousands of Kurds have turned out to fight Iraqi forces in the oil rich Kirkuk region.
US president Donald Trump is also expected to make an announcement on the Iran nuclear deal, which is due for renewal this weekend.
However despite the bullish predictions from some analysts, many experts believe that oil cartel Opec still must extend production cuts through to 2018.
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