Oil prices rose in Friday's session as US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken embarked on a week-long tour of the Middle East in an effort to defuse regional tensions sparked by the conflict between Israel and Hamas. First week of 2024.
Brent crude futures rose $1.17, or 1.51%, to $78.76 a barrel, according to Al Arabiya.
U.S. crude futures rose $1.62, or 2.24%, to settle at $73.81 a barrel, while weekly gains reached 3%.
Shipping giant Maersk said it would divert all its vessels from the Red Sea for the foreseeable future, warning customers of disruption.
John Gilduff, an official at Again Capital LLC, said a U.S. government report showing employment growth in December should support demand next year.
US employers hired more workers than expected in December, while strong wage increases pushed financial markets back from their expectations that the Federal Reserve would begin cutting interest rates in March.
OPEC maintained steady levels of crude oil production in the past month before the new cuts were implemented.
OPEC pumped an average of 28.05 million barrels per day in December as it continued to impose supply curbs agreed to earlier last year, and other countries such as Nigeria offset cuts by the UAE and Angola.
Production is slated to fall further this month as the broader alliance, known as OPEC+, initiates additional cuts of about 900,000 barrels per day to avoid a new surplus and protect deteriorating crude prices.
Brent crude futures have fallen roughly 20% since hitting $100 a barrel four months ago amid rising supplies from the U.S. and other OPEC rivals.
The additional crude production could exceed global fuel demand, which is expected to grow significantly slower this year.
The United Arab Emirates made the biggest cut in supply last month, cutting production by 70,000 barrels per day to 3.08 million barrels per day. Angola's production fell again in its last month as an OPEC member, down 40,000 bpd to 1.1 million bpd.
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