Concerns about the simmering geopolitical issues between Russia and Ukraine prompted West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures to advance on Friday, marking a second consecutive trading session of gains for the energy commodity, Bloomberg reports.
The International Energy Agency increased its demand forecast, which also benefited the price of crude oil as the trade week neared its close. Voters are prepared to cast ballots as to whether Crimea will secede from Ukraine and be annexed by Russia.
"The IEA is predicting higher demand and a stronger global economy and that's supportive for the market," analyst and broker Gene McGillian with Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut told the news source on Friday. "With the referendum in Crimea, nobody wants to be on the short side going home this weekend."
At 9:36 a.m. on Friday, WTI crude oil futures rose 0.57 percent, a 56-cent climb to $98.76 per barrel. At 9:25 a.m., Brent crude oil futures edged up 0.17 percent, an 18-cent lift to $107.57 per barrel.
Reuters reports the top refiner in Japan slashed its yearly contract with Iran for the energy commodity by 27 percent.
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