Brent Poised To Post First Weekly Gain Since February
Brent crude oil looked poised to end the week with a gain for the first time since the end of February on Friday. The commodity traded at $107.72 at 7:12 GMT with both geopolitical tension and positive economic data contributing to its strength.
Global demand outlook seems to be on the upswing, as several nations including the U.S. and Europe have been releasing better-than-expected economic data. U.S. durable goods orders rebounded in February after falling for two months in a row. The figure helped support Brent prices as it indicated that the world's largest oil consuming nation would likely have an appetite for crude.
Brent prices also found support from the tense situation between the West and Russia over the annexation of Crimea. The U.S. and the EU have united to reduce the eurozone's reliance on Russian gas and oil. In doing so, the two will deepen the sanctions on Moscow in an effort to force Russian President Vladimir Putin to backtrack in Crimea.
Problems in Libya also contributed to Brent's strength. CNBC reported that protestors in the OPEC nation have blocked a 30,000 barrel per day pipeline which carries oil condensate from the al-Wafa oilfield to the Mellitah port. Libyan oil output is down to 155,000 barrels per day from its full capacity of almost 1.25 million barrels per day as anti-government protesters and militia have taken hold of several of the nation's largest oilfields. The rebel groups are demanding more political rights as well as a share of the Libyan government's oil revenue.
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