SYDNEY (Reuters) – Oil prices edged higher on Friday, extending gains into a fourth session as rising tensions in the Middle East stoked fears of potential supply disruptions.
Brent crude futures were at $72.82 a barrel at 0024 GMT, up 20 cents, or 0.3%, from their last close. Brent closed up 1.2% on Thursday when prices hit a high of $73.36 a barrel – the highest since April 26.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $63.18 per barrel, up 31 cents, or 0.5%, from their previous settlement. WTI closed up 1.4% in the previous session.
“Crude prices continue to rally as Persian Gulf tensions remain elevated and as uncertainty clouds this weekend’s OPEC and its allies meeting on how to adjust production due to the Iranian sanctions,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst, OANDA.
A Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen carried out several air strikes on the Houthi-held capital Sanaa on Thursday after the Iranian-aligned movement claimed responsibility for drone attacks on two Saudi oil pumping stations earlier in the week.
U.S. President Donald Trump has told his top advisers he does not want to get the United States involved in a war with Iran, three U.S. officials said on Thursday.
The market is also awaiting the decision of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers on whether to continue with supply cuts that have boosted prices more than 30% so far this year.
A meeting of OPEC’s ministerial monitoring committee in Saudi Arabia this weekend will assess member states’ commitment to a deal reducing oil production, Iraq’s oil minister said on Thursday.
(Reporting by Colin Packham; editing by Richard Pullin)