Singapore — Oil prices rose on Thursday, buoyed by the hope that potential progress in the latest China-US tariff talks would improve the global economic outlook, and as China’s trade figures including crude imports beat forecasts. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $54.16 a barrel at 4.13am GMT, up 26c, or 0.5%, from their last settlement. International Brent crude oil futures were up 37c, or 0.6%, at $63.98 a barrel. Optimism that a trade deal could be reached between the US and China was boosted when US President Donald Trump said talks were going ”very well”. “The 90-day truce [on trade] agreed in December will run out on March 1, but given the progress of the talks there could be an extension, which is why there [is] rising optimism that the two leaders will meet later that month,” said Alfonso Esparza, senior market analyst, Oanda. Markets were also supported by upbeat Chinese trade data, including for crude oil. China’s crude oil imports in January rose 4....

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