Oil prices were higher on Tuesday afternoon in Asia after slipping lower at the end of the day on Monday, as traders eyed the upcoming trade talks between the U.S. and China as expectations for a resolution continue to wane. U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed optimism, saying that his team has a “very good chance” of achieving a deal, despite reports that China is not in a rush to bend to Trump’s demands. The trade talks began on Monday, with 30 Chinese officials arriving in Washington to set the state for the higher-level meetings that will start on Thursday between Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Only a week remains before the U.S. is scheduled to raise tariffs on Chinese goods from 25 percent to 30 percent.
Brent crude futures were up 0.57 percent to $58.68 per barrel as of 1:17 p.m. HK/SIN, while U.S. WTI futures were up 0.61 percent to $53.07 per barrel. Despite these gains, Brent crude slumped 4.4 percent last week, its steepest weekly decline in six weeks. Brent is also down over 20 percent from its 2019 peak of $75.60 per barrel. Prices had been under pressure after drone attacks in Saudi Arabia, though the movements were not as steep as analysts originally predicted.
The dollar index was unchanged in the early afternoon in Asia, sitting at 98.97 .DXY. The dollar gained 0.10 percent against the yen, trading at 107.39 after remaining below the 107 level yesterday. The euro and the British pound were both modestly higher against the greenback, trading up 0.01 percent and 0.05 percent respectively. The dollar eased 0.11 percent against the Canadian dollar after impressive gains against the currency yesterday.