WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Crude oil futures ended higher on Friday with traders betting on hopes a positive outcome from U.S.-China trade discussions will result in increased demand for crude.
The OPEC-led output cuts, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria's decisions to resort to bigger output reductions and the U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela contributed as well to oil's uptick.
Meanwhile, a report from Baker Hughes said weekly rig-count dropped by four to 853 this week.
Gains, however, were just modest, as recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed another increase in crude inventories in the world's largest economy.
The EIA report on Thursday showed crude supplies in the U.S. were up 3.7 million barrels in the week ended February 15th, rising for a fifth straight week. The report also said crude output in the U.S. was up by about 100,000 barrels to a record 12 million barrels per day last week.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended up $0.30, or 0.5%, at $57.26 a barrel, the best settlement since November 12.
On Thursday, oil futures for April ended down $0.20, or 0.4%, at $56.96 a barrel.
Following the latest round of talks between high ranking officials from the U.S. and China, President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He are scheduled to meet later in the day.
Meanwhile, according to reports, Trump said he may be inclined to extend negotiations beyond a March 1 deadline, in the event of some progress in trade talks with China.
Trump also reportedly said that he expects to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping soon and that the biggest trade decisions would be made by them.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX