Oil prices was up on Friday on news that U.S. President Donald Trump could be set to impose new sanctions on multiple Iranian entities, raising geopolitical tensions between the two nations.
Comments by Russian energy minister Alexander Novak that oil producers had cut their output in accordance with a pact agreed in December also helped support prices, analysts said.
Media reported on Thursday that Trump’s administration is prepared to roll out new measures against more than two dozen Iranian targets following Tehran’s ballistic missile test, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Brent crude futures had risen 45 cents, or 0.8 per cent to 57.01 dollars a barrel by 0750 GMT, after settling down 24 cents at 56.56 dollars in the previous session.
Brent is set to gain 2.6 per cent for the week.
Front month U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures climbed 48 cents or 0.9 per cent to 54.02 dollars a barrel, after ending Thursday down 34 cents.
For the week, the contract is up a little over one per cent.
Move by the U.S. to impose new sanctions on Iran is “something at the back of short-term traders’ minds,” said Ric Spooner, Chief Market Analyst at Sydney’s CMC Markets.