Brent falls, but hovers near $70 on demand optimism support
Brent crude prices fell on Friday but lingered near $70 per barrel as major producers’ output cuts tightened supply. Optimism about demand recovery in the second half of the year also supported prices.
Brent crude futures for May contract fell 0.2%, or 17 cents, at $69.46 per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery dropped 0.4%, or 23 cents, at $65.79 per barrel.
Front-month Brent is on course for a weekly gain for the eighth straight week after hitting a 13-month high on Monday.
Sentiment was also boosted by OPEC’s decision to maintain output cuts in April. Investors have been placing bets in oil on demand recovery expectations in the second half of the year.
Meanwhile, U.S. gasoline stocks sharply declined last week as a deep freeze in Texas affected refining output.