Oil prices rose on Friday as the world’s largest oil producers agreed to gradually ease their output from May to July, relieving concerns over a supply glut.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $64.67 per barrel at 0714 GMT for a 3.07% increase after closing Thursday at $62.74 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $61.30 per barrel at the same time for a 3.61% increase after it ended the previous session at $59.16 a barrel.
Both benchmarks rose more than 3% soon after the meeting where the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC countries, known as OPEC+, approved an incremental production increase of 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) for May and June and 400,000 bpd in July.
Saudi Arabia’s additional output cut of 1 million bpd will also be gradually phased out with a production increase of 250,000 bpd in May, 350,000 bpd in June and 400,000 bpd in July.
The group's collective production will reach 5.8 billion bpd in July.
Oil prices also found support after US President Joe Biden unveiled his $2 trillion plan to revitalize America's badly aging infrastructure, with proposed tax hikes on corporations to cover the costs.
A rapid increase in the Eurozone manufacturing sector's Purchasing Manager Index (PMI) in March, revealing the best-operating conditions in nearly 24 years of data collection, also reflected positively for oil prices by raising expectations that demand would similarly recover.
The positive Eurozone PMI results came despite concerns over surging COVID-19 cases in the region, which were followed by new restrictions, lockdowns and vaccination supply disruptions.
However, signaling a not-yet-recovered economy, the number of first-time unemployment claims in the US last week, the world’s largest oil-consuming country, rose by 61,000 to 719,000 contrary to market expectations of 675,000.
By Sibel Morrow