Oil extended gains above $48 a barrel as the Federal Reserve suggested the central bank is flexible on interest rates and industry data signaled slowing growth in U.S. crude production.
Futures in New York rose as much as 1.5 percent after a 1.9 percent gain on Friday. Working oil rigs in the U.S. fell for the first time in three weeks, according to data released Friday by Baker Hughes. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell signaled the central bank could pause interest-rate increases if the U.S. economy weakens.
The U.S. and China are set to hold trade talks this week, the first formal meeting since presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed a 90-day truce last month.
WTI for Feb. delivery climbed as much as 70c to $48.66/bbl on Nymex, trades at $48.58 at 8:38am in Tokyo. Contract rose 87c to $47.96 on Friday. Total WTI volume traded 44% below 100-day average.
March Brent added 66c to $57.72/bbl on ICE Futures Europe exchange. Contract gained $1.11 to $57.06 on Friday. Brent trades at $8.84 premium to WTI for the same month.