Oil prices rose more than 1% on Monday as signs of rising manufacturing activity in China pointed to increasing fuel demand and hints that OPEC may deepen output cuts at its meeting this week indicated supply may tighten next year.
On Friday, WTI futures settled 5.1% lower amid reduced volumes because of last week’s Thanksgiving Day holiday while Brent plunged 4.4%. Prices fell on concerns that talks to end the trade war between the United States and China, the world’s two biggest oil users, would be disrupted by U.S. support for protesters in Hong Kong.
But oil rose on Monday after factory activity in November in China, the world’s biggest oil importer, increased for the first time in seven months because of rising domestic demand amid government stimulus measures.
“At the open prices remain supported by the surprising resilient China factory activity with the forward-looking PMI’s beating expectations,” said Stephen Innes, chief Asia market strategist at AxiTrader.
Prices were also supported after Iraq’s oil minister said on Sunday that OPEC and allied producers will consider deepening their existing oil output cuts by about 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.6 million bpd.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia, known as OPEC+, are expected to at least extend existing output cuts to June 2020 when they meet this week.
The OPEC+ group has coordinated output for three years to balance the market and support prices. Their current deal to cut supply by 1.2 million bpd that started from January expires at the end of March 2020.
OPEC’s ministers will meet in Vienna on Dec. 5 and the wider OPEC+ group will meet on Dec. 6 to make a decision on the current agreement.