Oil held gains as an industry report showed American inventories shrunk. Optimism over a partial U.S.-China trade deal grew as more U.S. soybean shipments cleared customs.
Futures in New York rose as much as 0.7%, on track for the largest monthly gain in almost a year. U.S. crude stockpiles dropped 7.9 million barrels last week, Reuters reported, citing American Petroleum Institute data. China’s November imports of American soybeans surged to the highest in about two years.
West Texas Intermediate for February delivery climbed as much as 43 cents on the New York Mercantile Exchange and traded 9 cents higher at $61.20/bbl as of 7:48 am in Singapore. Markets were closed on Wednesday for the Christmas holiday
Brent for February settlement settled 81 cents higher on Dec. 24 at $67.20/bbl on Tuesday.