Oil prices rise on demand optimism

Oil prices on Friday rose amid hopes that an ongoing economic recovery in the United States will have a positive impact on oil demand.

The upside, however, remained capped by concerns about the potential for a rise in Iranian supplies should sanctions on official exports be lifted.

Brent crude futures for August settlement raised half a per cent to 69.51 dollars a barrel, while WTI futures for July delivery were up half a per cent at 67.21 dollars, after having settled at the strongest since October 2018 on Thursday.

U.S. jobless claims fell to a new pandemic low in the week which ended May 22, and gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the first quarter came in unrevised at 6.4 per cent in the second estimate, helping to reinforce the economic recovery narrative.

Investors are bracing for the vaccine-aided pick-up in demand as the summer driving season gets under way from the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.

Traders remain focused on the developments with   regard to negotiations over the Iran nuclear deal and await cues from the OPEC meeting slated for June 1 for further direction.


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