Oil prices held steady on Friday on solid demand, ongoing production cuts led by producer cartel OPEC and U.S. sanctions against Iran, a major crude exporter.
However, markets continued to be below multi-year highs from the prior day as increasing production from the prior day as increasing output from the U.S. is anticipated to counter at least some of the shortfalls.
Brent crude futures were at $79.55 per barrel, up 25 cents or 0.3 percent from their last settlement. The international benchmark futures broke through $80 for the first time since November 2014 on Thursday.
U.S. WTI crude futures stood at $71.65 per barrel, up 16 cents or 0.2 percent from their last close.
Crude prices have received wide support from voluntary supply cuts headed by OPEC with the aim of tightening the market.
Beyond OPEC’s cuts, solid demand as well as declining production from Venezuela and an announcement from the U.S. earlier this month to reimpose sanctions against OPEC-member helped to drive up Brent by 20 percent since the beginning of the year.
U.S. investment bank Jefferies said sanctions against Iran could eliminate over 1 million barrels per day from the market.
UK’s Barclays bank said on Friday that it anticipated average prices of $70 per barrel Brent for the current year and of $65 per barrel for 2019, up from the estimates of $63 and $60 per barrel previously.
The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com