April 10, 2018 / 4:41 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 9-Brent surges more than 3 pct as China calms trade war jitters

* China promises to open economy further, cut import tariffs

* Middle East tensions support

* Oil prices supported by OPEC-led supply restraint (New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments)

By Ayenat Mersie

NEW YORK, April 10 (Reuters) - Oil prices rose more than $2, or over 3 percent, on Tuesday as investors grew more confident that a brewing trade dispute between the United States and China may be resolved without harming the global economy.

Brent crude futures were up $2.32, or 3.4 percent, at $70.97 a barrel by 2:10 p.m. EST (1810 GMT). It was Brent’s largest single-day percentage jump since November.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures gained 3.3 percent, or $2.07, to $65.49 a barrel.

“This has been another huge day,” said Bill Baruch, president of Blue Line Futures in Chicago. “There’s soothing trade war fears, geopolitics, and a weaker dollar at play,” Baruch said.

President Xi Jinping on Tuesday promised to open China’s economy further and lower import tariffs, striking a conciliatory tone on the trade tensions between his country and the United States.

Both crude benchmarks have risen more than 5 percent in the past two trading days.

Concerns over a possible trade war between the two largest economies contributed to declines of more than 4 percent in prices of both benchmarks last week.

Middle East tensions also supported prices on Tuesday, said Phillip Streible, analyst at RJO Futures in Chicago.

“Oil markets are getting a bounce on increasing speculation about Trump and Syria,” Streible said.

U.S. President Donald Trump promised a swift response to a suspected chemical attack in Syria. Such a response is likely to increase the push for the United States to exit the Iran nuclear deal, Streible said, given Iran’s support of the Syrian government.

Departures from the accord would result in renewed sanctions against Iran, which would hurt its oil industry.

The U.S. dollar fell against a basket of major currencies , hitting its lowest in nearly two weeks. Because oil is dollar-priced, a stronger greenback makes purchases in other currencies more expensive.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said it expected domestic crude oil production to rise by 750,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 11.44 million bpd next year, more than previously expected.

The American Petroleum Institute will publish its storage data later in the day, and U.S. government data is due on Wednesday. Analysts anticipated a small build in U.S. crude stocks and a reduction in products inventories.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Ministry said it would keep exports below 7 million bpd and restore its inventories to normal levels.

Additional reporting by Amanda Cooper in LONDON and Henning Gloystein in SINGAPORE; Editing by David Gregorio and Will Dunham

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