Oil hits highest in a year on growth hopes, OPEC+ output cuts

Oil prices rose on Friday, hitting their highest in a year and closing in on $60 a barrel, supported by economic revival hopes and supply curbs by producer group OPEC and its allies.

Oil was also supported as U.S. stock markets hit record highs on signs of progress toward the more economic stimulus, while a U.S. jobs report confirmed the labor market was stabilizing.

U.S. employment growth rebounded moderately in January and job losses in the prior month were deeper than initially thought. President Joe Biden’s drive to enact a $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid bill gained momentum.

Brent crude was up 50 cents, or 0.9%, at $59.34 by 1:14 p.m. ET (1814 GMT) after hitting its highest since Feb. 20 at $59.79. U.S. crude was up 56 cents, or 1%, at $56.79, after reaching $57.29, its highest since Jan. 22 last year.

U.S. crude futures were on track for a gain of nearly 9% for the week, the biggest percentage gain since October. Brent was on track for 6% weekly gain.

“Brent is eyeing the $60 level now that OPEC+ has successfully eased most supply side concerns and optimism on the COVID front improves globally,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in New York.

“The fundamentals remain solid for crude, but a consolidation seems likely given the recent runup.”

Brent was headed for a weekly rise of more than 6%. When it last traded at $60 a barrel, the pandemic had yet to take hold, economies were open and demand for fuel was much higher.

(c) Reuters


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