Buoyed by signs of improving trade relations, oil starts 2020 on a high

Oil prices rose to begin the new year on Thursday buoyed by signs of improving trade relations between the United States and China which eased demand concerns and rising tensions in the Middle East. Brent crude futures rose 25 cents to $66.25 a barrel by 0958 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 13 cents at $61.19 per barrel.

The U.S. military carried out air strikes against Iran-backed Katib Hezbollah militia group over the weekend. Angry at the air strikes, protesters stormed the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on.

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