Oil prices rose slightly today, putting them on track for solid weekly gains after financial markets strengthened due to hopes the US and China may soon resolve their trade dispute.
Tightened supply following OPEC-led crude production cuts aided gains, along with positive signals from top central banks which sent global stocks higher after sharp losses in late 2018.
International Brent crude futures were at $61.76 per barrel this afternoon, up eight cents.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 23 cents to $52.82 per barrel.
WTI and Brent are set for their second week of gains, rising 10% and 8% respectively.
Markets were supported by hopes that an all-out trade war between Washington and Beijing might be averted.
Three days of talks concluded this week with no concrete announcements, but higher-level talks may convene later this month.
Concerns about the global economy have kept markets in check, however, with signs mounting that China's growth in 2018 and 2019 would be the lowest since 1990.
Most analysts have downgraded their global economic growth forecasts below 3% for 2019, with some fearing a recession amid trade disputes and spiralling debt.
On the supply side, oil markets are receiving support from supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and aimed at reining in a glut that emerged in the second half of 2018.
Lower oil exports from Iran since November, when US sanctions against it resumed, have also supported crude.
Playing a key part in the emerging glut was the US, where crude oil production soared by more than 2 million barrels a day in 2018 to a record 11.7 million.