Global benchmark Brent rose for a second consecutive week, getting a late boost from UAE officials denying OPEC exit plans.
After wavering in the morning, crude’s rally was revived after state officials disputed a report from the Wall Street Journal of a growing rift between the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Broader risk-on sentiment also supported Friday’s advance, pushing both Brent and West Texas Intermediate to their highest intraday in more than two weeks.
“The response by the UAE to this news is telling of its conviction to prevent oil prices sliding,” said Christyan Malek, global head of energy strategy at JP Morgan.
Oil prices have struggled to break out of a $10 range this year, with traders weighing interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve against expectations of higher crude consumption out of China. A spate of economic data released this week from the world’s largest crude importer was seen as evidence of a rebound taking hold, driving gains of more than $2 this week.