Oil price gains on prospect of U.S interest rate cut

Oil prices rose on Monday as the prospect of an expected interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve overshadowed pessimism over U.S.-China trade talks and forecasts of slower global economic growth.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 were up 21 cents at 63.67 dollars a barrel by noon after hitting a session low of 62.92 dollars.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 was up by 58 cents at 56.78 dollars a barrel after touching a low of 55.91 dollars.

Traders and investors are keeping a close eye on the Fed this week, with U.S. central bankers expected to lower borrowing costs this week for the first time since the depths of the financial crisis more than a decade ago.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter that a small Fed rate cut “is not enough’’.

Economic growth in the United States slowed less than expected in the second quarter, with a boom in consumer spending, strengthening the outlook for oil consumption.

But non-U.S. growth is slowing faster, partly because of the trade war with China over the past year.

“Even though the crude oil supply picture is fundamentally tight, and geopolitical risks front and centre, the market remains extremely bearish around demand risks.

“This is due to the escalation in protectionist trade policies and the risk of additional punitive tariffs,” said Emily Ashford, director of energy research at Standard Chartered.

U.S. and Chinese negotiators will meet this week for the first time since trade talks broke down in May, but expectations are low after President Trump said that China might not want to sign a trade deal until after the 2020 U.S. election.

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