Crude oil prices rose sharply on Friday, as recent data showing a drop in U.S. crude stockpiles, and Saudi Arabia’s decision to cut output continued to support the commodity.
Despite the continued surge in coronavirus cases and tighter lockdown measures in several countries, traders appeared to be pinning their hopes of recovery amid massive rollout of Covid-19 vaccines, and on prospects for additional fiscal stimulus.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for February ended up by $1.41 or about 2.8% at $52.24 a barrel, the highest level since February 2020.
Brent crude futures were up $0.95 or about 1.8% at $55.36 a barrel.
WTI futures gained about 7.7% in the week, while Brent crude contracts firmed up by more than 8%.
Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia made a surprise announcement, saying it would reduce crude output by 1 million barrels a day in February and March.
This significantly offset OPEC+’s decision to allow Russia and Kazakhstan to increase their outputs by a combined 75,000 barrels a day.
Data released by Baker Hughes today said the oil drilling rigs count in the U.S. rose for a seventh straight week, surging up by 8 to 275 this week.