Oil held gains after its longest rally in almost 1 1/2 years on optimism the world's two largest economies would reach a trade deal and an American crude build-up might slow.
Futures in New York were little changed following six days of gains, the longest winning streak since July 2017. There's a “very good chance” the U.S. gets a reasonable deal with China, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC Monday, as trade negotiations began in Beijing. Meanwhile, expectations for a nationwide decline in U.S. crude inventories alleviated worries about a supply glut.
West Texas Intermediate for February delivery increased as much as 44 cents to $48.96 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and traded 3 cents lower at $48.49 a barrel at 2:01 p.m. in Singapore. Prices rose more than 7 percent for six sessions up until Monday.
Brent for March settlement slipped 6 cents to $57.27 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe Exchange in London. The contract closed 0.5 percent higher at $57.33 on Monday. The global benchmark crude traded at an $8.47 a barrel premium to WTI for the same month.