Oil starts in 2020, thanks to optimism in trade and increased Middle East tensions

Oil prices began the new-year on the rise with reduced concerns on demand thanks to the

improvement of trade relations between the United States and China while escalating tensions in the Middle East increased concerns about the supply of oil.

Brent crude futures were up 35 cents, or 0.5%, to $66.3 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude rose 25 cents, or 0.4%, to $61.3.

Both raw materials closed in 2019, supported by the end of the year, by a breakthrough in the long-running trade dispute between the United States and China, and the