Global threats and a restricted supply of crude oil are driving higher prices

Oil prices ticked up in early Asian trading on Monday, firming up gains from last week when prices rose nearly 4% on the view that supply was tightening. Brent crude oil futures for May delivery inched up 3 cents to $85.37 a barrel by 0045. The April contract for U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 10 cents to $81.14.

Despite a decline on Friday, both benchmark oil contracts ended the previous week about 4% higher. For the most part of the past month, oil prices have remained rangebound, but on Thursday, the International Energy Agency released an optimistic demand report that caused prices to rise to their highest point since November.

WTI and Brent futures were up 13% and 11%, respectively, as of Friday’s close.

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