By: Nadeemy Haded

Oil prices rose to a 3-month high on Monday, buoyed by optimism about an expected trade agreement between the United States and China, as traders closely watch the Middle East, following US air strikes.

The markets showed limited initial reaction to the news of the US-led air attacks in Iraq and Syria against an Iranian-backed militant group, even after US officials warned of possible "additional measures".

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 5 cents to $ 61.77 a barrel. And American crude is about 36% high since the beginning of this year.

Brent crude futures recorded $ 68.36 a barrel, up 20 cents, or 0.3%. Global benchmark crude rose 27% in 2019.

On Sunday, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said it was in close contact with the United States on signing a long-awaited trade agreement.

Oil prices are also supported by a drop in US oil inventories, which fell 5.5 million barrels in the week ending December 20, far exceeding expectations in a Reuters poll of 1.7 million barrels.

Source: Agencies

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