Oil benchmarks on both sides of Atlantic rebounded higher on the final trading day of the week on the back rife speculation over increasing Chinese demand for oil in wake of strengthening yuan exchange rate. Oil awaits US rigs count report Currently both crude benchmarks are seen extending higher, with WTI rising +2.25% to $ 38.69 while the Brent oil rallies 1.77% at $ 40.77. Oil prices edged higher this session on increasing expectations of a pick-up in Chinese demand for oil after the PBOC set the yuan at the strongest level so far this year, which makes oil imports cheaper for the Chinese buyers. More so, the strong gains in the oil prices can be attributed to a profit-taking rally ahead of the Chinese economic data due for release this weekend, which may shed more light over the economic condition in the world’s second largest oil consumer. On Thursday, oil prices slipped after doubts were cast for a meeting proposed on March 20 over output freeze talks between OPEC and non-OPEC producers. Meanwhile, markets now await the US weekly report from oilfield services company Baker Hughes that is set to show the latest US rig count. Last week, it reported a fall of 8 to 392, the lowest since December 2009. For more information, read our latest forex news.