Oil rises as supply concerns outweigh trade disputes

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil rose above $64 a barrel on Tuesday as OPEC supply cuts and Middle East tensions outweighed the U.S.-China trade dispute that is dragging on the global economy and oil demand. OPEC and its allies last week agreed to extend their supply-cutting deal until March 2020. Brent has risen almost 20 percent in 2019 supported by the pact and also tensions in the Middle East, especially concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. Brent crude in early Tuesday morning trading,, the global benchmark, rose 38 cents to $64.49 a barrel by 0910 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 20 cents to $57.86. “OPEC and its allies are doing their best to support the market,” said Tamas Varga, an analyst with PVM. Rising tensions between Iran and the United States have brought the two countries close to conflict. Last month, President Donald Trump called off air strikes at the last minute in retaliation for Iran shooting down a U.S. drone. Iran on Monday threatened to restart deactivated centrifuges and step up its enrichment of uranium to 20% in a move that further threatens the 2015 nuclear agreement that Washington abandoned last year. Oil also gained support from reports expected to show a drop in U.S. crude inventories. U.S. crude stockpiles are forecast to fall 3.6 million barrels in a fourth consecutive weekly decline. The first of this week’s two supply reports is due at 2030 GMT from the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group.