Crude oil futures stayed well supported amid firm equities and a generally positive assessment of the near term oil price trajectory. European and Asian shares rose as investors welcomed weekend news of an agreement between the US and China that could reduce the American trade deficit with the worlds No. 2 economy. WTI Crude stayed well above $ 70 per barrel and currently trade at $ 71.52 per barrel, up 0.21% on the day. MCX Crude oil futures are quoting at Rs 4864 per barrel, up 0.19% on the day after testing a high near Rs 4900 per barrel mark.
The US oil rig count held steady last week after rising for six weeks in a row. The total oil rig count held at 844 in the week to May 18, General Electric Cos Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday. More than half the total oil rigs are in Permian basin in west Texas and eastern New Mexico, the nations biggest shale oil field. Rising oil prices have pushed up the rig counts in recent quarters. The count, an early indicator of future output, stood at 720 rigs around a year ago.
The US has suspended its plan to impose heavy tariffs on China following the latest trade talks. Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury secretary, said that the two countries had made progress as they concluded three days of intense trade negotiations in Washington late last week. The planned tariffs on as much as $ 150 billion worth of Chinese goods are off the table while the talks proceed, he said, according to media reports.