Oil Prices At 14-month High
Oil prices jumped more than 2 percent on Friday to hit their highest levels in nearly 14 months, after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies decided to keep output unchanged in April.
Brent crude futures for May settlement jumped 2.3 percent to $68.24, a level not seen since Jan. 8, 2020, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up a little over 2 percent at $65.12.
Both contracts surged more than 4 percent on Thursday after the OPEC+ decided to maintain the current supply cuts for April amid fears that coronavirus restrictions could hurt demand.
Saudi Arabia will retain its 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut in order to support crude prices.
Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman cautioned about raising production, but said that cuts will be withdrawn over the next few months depending upon the market conditions.
Non-OPEC countries such as Russia and Kazakstan were allowed to make modest increases.
Goldman Sachs has further upgraded its target for crude oil prices, and said that OPEC’s strategy is working because of its “unexpectedness and suddenness”.
In other news on the crude oil front, data released by the Energy Information Administration showed U.S. crude inventories were up more than 21 million barrels last week as refining plunged to a record low due to the Texas freeze that shut down production.