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Oil Reaches Three-month Highs Following Strong U.S. Consumer Spending

Oil costs climbed on Friday, hitting three-month highs after data confirmed record online spending by U.S. shoppers, stoking faith in the world’s no. 1 economy even before the hoped-for end to the trade spat between Washington and Beijing.

Brent crude futures have been up 13 cents, i.e., 0.2%, at $68.05 per barrel at 0150 GMT, while the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) contract was up 13 cents, i.e., 0.2%, at $61.81 each barrel.

A survey on Thursday showed that online holiday purchases by U.S. customers reached a record, beating analysts’ estimations and sending U.S. stocks to fresh.

U.S. consumers are “showing few indicators of strengthening their purse strings, which is positive for oil also,” stated Stephen Innes, chief Asia market strategist at AxiTrader.

Oil costs have long been floated by robust hopes that the New Year will bring in an end to the long-running U.S.-China trade duties conflict, a row that has dominated global economic development prospects and left questionmarks over future demand for crude.

The lingering ripple effect of the trade row confirmed up again in data from Japan, the world’s third-biggest economy, on Friday, showing that manufacturing output contracted for a second month in November.

Nonetheless, the price Brent has jumped over 1 / 4 in 2019, while WTI is up around 35%, boosted by steps by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and different producers, along with Russia, to curb production.

Earlier this month, OPEC and its aides agreed to extend and intensify those cuts.

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Alfredoo Epps

Alfredo Epps is a finance expert heading the petroleum column. He joined the group last year as an associate writer. But his thorough research skills and ability to seamlessly putting numerical data into words helped him get a senior position. Apart from a column head, Alfredo is a dancer and a violinist.

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