Oil prices rose on Friday in early Asian trade as markets weighed the likelihood of price-supportive OPEC+ production cuts over the weekend amid positive sentiment over U.S. monetary policy and Washington’s debt ceiling bill.
Brent crude futures rose 13 cents, or 0.18% to $74.41 a barrel by 0115 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) rose 15 cents, or 0.21%, to $70.25 a barrel, following two consecutive days of sliding crude prices.
Markets were reassured by signals of a potential pause in rate hikes by the Federal Reserve as well as the House of Representatives’ passage of a bill suspending the U.S. government debt ceiling, likely staving off a calamitous sovereign default.
The U.S. debt ceiling bill is currently awaiting approval by the Senate, which Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said will stay in session on Thursday night U.S. time until it is passed.
Market sentiment was also buoyed by Thursday’s U.S. crude stock data from the Energy Information Administration, which indicated that crude imports had jumped last week.