Oil has rallied in the new year, with a nine-day run of gains for WTI, its best run since 2010.
Brent crude is also rallying, if those contracts close up today - a 10th consecutive session - it would be the futures' best streak for 30 years.
Traders have been buoyed by positive sentiment out of US-China trade war talks and efforts by Saudi Arabia and OPEC and others to stabilise markets, after plunging last month.
"The market [is] returning to some sort of order, having previously been out of whack," said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia Pacific at futures brokerage Oanda.
Brent crude is up 0.6% by mid-morning on Friday.
The wobbles in stock markets have been grabbing all the attention lately, but meanwhile, oil is enjoying a stunning rally into the new year.
Oil traders are factoring in an improvement in US-China trade relations and continued efforts by OPEC and others to stabilise the market after a brutal end to last year.
Brent crude futures are now trading up for their 10th consecutive day, which would mark its best performance since the introduction of futures contracts in June 1988. This week's performance has seen Brent rise 8.4%, its best weekly gains for over two years as improved sentiment boosts the commodity's performance.
Fore WTI, the US benchmark, oil has risen 24% since hitting a low on Christmas eve.
"The macro drivers of prices has been the more dovish Federal Reserve and better news coming out of the US-China trade dispute," Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia Pacific at futures brokerage Oanda, sadi in an interview. "The market is reading between the lines that any deal would boost China's economy and really improve demand."
US trade representatives were in China for talks earlier this week, which raised hopes of a trade deal that would have a positive impact on oil prices.
Similarly, last December's "OPEC+" summit in Vienna brought a round of supply cuts to the oil market, which are now finally being priced in amid a greater risk-on atmosphere. Despite that prices are still around 30% lower than their October highs.
Saudi Arabia's energy minister, Khalid Al-Falih, said that pledged reductions of 1.2 million barrels a day are "more than sufficient to balance the market." Data out of Saudi Arabia supports the proposed axe in supply and demonstrated a cut in exports to the US with inventory figures also broadly positive.
Investor sentiment has also been boosted by comments from the Federal Reserve. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and Richard Clarida have said that the central bank will be cautious about pushing ahead with future rate hikes after raising interest rates four times last year.
Brent crude is trading up 0.6% by midmorning on Friday while WTI is up 0.9%.
The rand fell to a three-month low on Thursday but is slowly recovering against the dollar. Picture: iStock
The rand tumbled to its weakest in three months on Thursday, as emerging market currencies were hit by a wave of risk aversion as fears about global growth intensified.
At 9am the rand was 0.6 percent weaker at R14.55 to the dollar, recovering slightly after sliding to R14.89 in the overnight session, its weakest since October 9.
The rand was on the backfoot following weak factory data from China on Wednesday and saw losses deepen in tandem with a majority of global currencies after Apple said sales in China and other emerging markets fell last quarter.
Apple’s share price fell after chief executive Tim Cook warned shareholders that iPhone sales were slowing faster than expected. Cook said that the company did not foresee the magnitude of the “economic deceleration”, especially in China.
The news helped trigger a “flash crash” in currency markets, stoking nervousness about global growth already dampened by the ongoing trade wrangle between the United States and China.
Despite this early trade low, the rand gained momentum to trade 0.3% weaker against the dollar by midday. It sat at R14.50 to the dollar at the time.
The JSE All Share index, which suffered along with European and Asian stocks on Wednesday amid concerns around a possible slowdown in China, was up 0.8% by midday, with all major indices in positive territory.
The rand opened on Thursday at R14.46 to the dollar.
MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have settled their differences over the $8.1 billion demanded by the apex bank, out of court.
The telecommunications company disclosed this on Thursday at the resumed sitting of the court in the suit it filed against the CBN.
The CBN had demanded that MTN pay the amount following alleged infractions in forex remittances.
MTN, through its lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), had approached the Federal High Court, Lagos, challenging the powers of the CBN and the Attorney General of the Federation to make the monetary demand from it and prayed the court to restrain them from coming after it.
The parties to the suit however on December 4, 2018, asked the court for time so that they could settle out of court.
Olanipekun, on Thursday informed the court that they have reached an agreement with the CBN. He also presented a document to the court, and said his client had finally reached an agreement with the CBN.
He prayed the court to adopt the document as the judgement of the court.
Mr Henry Ejiofor, who stood in for CBN’s lead counsel, Mr Seyi Sowemimo (SAN), confirmed the position, while the counsel for the AGF, Olanike Idenu, did not oppose the application by MTN and CBN but urged the court to strike out the name of the AGF from the suit.
In his judgement, Justice Saidu thanked the parties for saving the precious time of the court and sparing it the rigours of litigation and consequently struck out the name of the AGF from the suit and adopted the terms agreed upon by the parties as the judgment in the suit.
The terms of the agreement and out of court settlement have not been made public.