February 24, 2012
Oil rose towards $124 a barrel on Friday, heading for a fifth straight weekly gain, as concern over cuts in Iranian supply offset worries that high oil prices could restrain demand.
European buyers of Iranian oil have cut back on purchases ahead of an EU embargo on Iran’s oil imports effective July 1. Some of Iran’s biggest customers in Asia including China have also reduced purchases.
Brent crude rose 16 cents to $123.78 by 0904 GMT, after trading as high as $124.28 earlier. It reached $124.50 on Thursday, the highest intra-day price since May 3. U.S. crude was up 48 cents to $108.31, extending its rally into a seventh day.
“The supportive factors are on the supply side – Iran and Iran and Iran, with a bit of Syria and Sudan,” said Christopher Bellew, a broker at Jefferies Bache in London. “It would not be at these numbers if it was not for the supply-side problems.”