Oil hits three-month high on upbeat data, Middle East tension

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices rose to three-month highs on Monday, underpinned by optimism over an expected China-U.S. trade deal and upbeat industrial data, while traders kept a close watch on the Middle East following U.S. air strikes in Iraq and Syria.

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Grandpuits oil refinery southeast of Paris, France, February 29, 2016. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/File Photo

Brent crude futures LCOc1 were up 40 cents, or 0.6%percent, at $68.56 a barrel. The international benchmark has risen around 27% in 2019.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 rose 10 cents, or 0.2%, to $61.82 a barrel by 1500 GMT. The U.S. benchmark is up about 36% this year.

“Oil prices continue to remain supported near frothy levels as tensions in the Middle East could see key disruptions in the region, shrinking U.S. stockpiles alleviate oversupply concerns and the U.S. and Chinese look to wrap up the phase-one trade deal,”

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