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Brent crude oil at US$110
Brent crude rose to near US$110 per barrel on Friday as strong US economic data fuelled prospects of increased demand in the world’s top oil consumer, while concerns over supply from the Middle East added support. Oil prices were boosted on Thursday by President Barack Obama’s comments that military force remained an option if sanctions and diplomacy failed to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Brent crude futures the primary global benchmark, was up more than US$1 to US$110.01 per barrel, gaining for a second day after snapping four straight days of losses. The April contract, which expired on Thursday, settled US90 cents higher, but the benchmark was poised for its fourth weekly decline in five weeks.
US light, sweet crude gained US47 cents to US$93.50 per barrel, and was set to post its second straight week of gains. “In the oil market I think there is a broad book-squaring move afoot,” said Tim Evans of Citi Futures in New York. “Traders who in recent weeks benefited from going short oil may now be taking profits and covering their positions.”
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