OIL PRICE: NEAR $71
REUTERS -Oil prices edged up on Friday, lifted by ongoing supply cuts led by producer club OPEC and by U.S. sanctions on petroleum exporters Iran and Venezuela.
Despite strong price increases this year, there are concerns that an economic slowdown could soon dent fuel consumption.
International Brent crude oil futures were at $71.03 per barrel at 0653 GMT, up 20 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $63.82 per barrel, up 24 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their previous settlement.
Oil markets have been pushed up by more than a third this year by supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), U.S. sanctions on oil exporters Iran and Venezuela, and an escalating conflict in Libya.
Production in Venezuela has been plunging as the U.S. sanctions add to a deep economic and political crisis, while the U.S. government is expected to tighten oil sanctions against Iran in May.
OPEC and its allies will meet in June to decide whether to continue withholding supply, and while OPEC's de-facto leader, Saudi Arabia, is seen to be keen to continue cutting, sources within the group said it may raise output from July if disruptions elsewhere continue.
On the demand side, most of the world's growth in fuel consumption is coming from Asia.
China's economic growth is expected to slow to a near 30-year low of 6.2 percent this year, a Reuters poll showed on Friday, as sluggish demand at home and abroad weigh on activity despite a flurry of support measures.
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Oil prices edged back towards five-month highs on Wednesday, supported by ongoing supply cuts by producer club OPEC and U.S. sanctions against oil exporters Iran and Venezuela.
Oil prices rose to their highest level since November 2018 on Monday, driven upwards by OPEC’s ongoing supply cuts, U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, fighting in Libya as well as strong U.S. jobs data.
Oil prices fell on Friday, with Brent slipping away from the $70 mark reached the previous day, pulled down by worries about progress in the U.S.-China trade talks.
Oil prices rose for a fourth day on Wednesday, pushing Brent towards $70 a barrel as support from OPEC-led supply cuts and U.S. sanctions overshadowed a report showing an unexpected rise in U.S. inventories.
Oil prices rose on Monday, adding to gains in the first quarter when the major benchmarks posted their biggest increases in nearly a decade, as concerns about supplies outweigh fears of a slowing global economy.
Oil prices rose on Friday on the back of ongoing OPEC-led supply cuts and U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, putting crude markets on track for their biggest quarterly rise since 2009.
Oil prices were mixed on Wednesday, with Brent extending the previous session’s rise, but gains were kept in check amid growing fears over the impact of a global economic slowdown on demand.
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