By Henning Gloystein
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices were on track for solid weekly gains on Friday after financial markets were lifted by hopes the United States and China may soon resolve their trade disputes, and as OPEC-led crude output cuts started to tighten supply.
Despite this, markets were held in check by expectations of an economic slowdown in 2019.
International Brent crude futures were at $61.59 per barrel at 0555 GMT, down 9 cents, or 0.15 percent, from their last close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were 4 cents below their last settlement, at $52.55 per barrel.
Brent and WTI are set for their second week of gains, rising nearly 8 percent and 10 percent respectively.
Markets were being supported by hopes that the trade war between Washington and Beijing may be resolved soon after officials said three-day talks this week concluded constructively and that further negotiations would likely follow this month.
Despite this, concerns over the health of the global economy lingered on, with signs mounting that China's growth in 2018 and 2019 would be the lowest since 1990.
Most analysts have downgraded their global economic growth forecasts below 3 percent for 2019, with some even fearing a looming recession amid trade disputes and spiralling debt.
OPEC CUTS MAKE WAY FOR SHALE
On the supply side, oil markets are receiving support from supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) aimed at reining in a glut that emerged in the second half of 2018.
"We see the oil market as well balanced into the foreseeable future, as the petro-nations make space for further U.S. shale production growth," said Norbert Ruecker, head of commodity research at the bank.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)