WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Oil prices rose on Thursday to extend gains for the third straight session as Chinese trade data beat expectations and optimism prevailed that the U.S. and China might reach an agreement in trade talks.
Global benchmark Brent crude jumped 1.45 percent to $64.53 a barrel while U.S. crude futures were up 1.1 percent at $54.49 a barrel.
Negotiators from China and the United States have begun senior-level talks in Beijing aimed at ending their trade conflict.
U.S. President Donald Trump said earlier that he is open to extending a March 1 deadline to raise tariffs on Chinese products if the two sides are near an agreement.
Oil prices are also drawing support from OPEC-led supply cuts and positive data from China.
Chinese exports rose 9.1 percent year-on-year in January, defying economists' expectations for a 3.2 percent fall.
Imports fell 1.5 percent year-on-year, which was much smaller than the 10 percent slump economists had forecast.
'The January trade data were much stronger than anticipated but seasonal volatility caused by annual shifts in the timing of Chinese New Year make it difficult to get a good grip on underlying trends at this time of year,' Capital Economics economist Julian Evans-Pritchard said.
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