Oil futures settled higher on Friday as U.S. prices scored a gain of more than 7% for the week, after a top energy monitor said prices might have bottomed on expectations that falling supplies will help alleviate the global glut of crude.
The International Energy Agency said prices have been supported by easing supply around the globe, but cautioned that the recent rally might not be sustainable as the demand outlook remains uncertain. Crude prices have rebounded by around 40% since their lows last month.
“For prices, there may be light at the end of what has been a long, dark tunnel,” the Paris-based agency said in its monthly report issued Friday. “But we cannot be precisely sure when in 2017 the oil market will achieve the much-desired balance.”
April West Texas Intermediate crude tacked on 66 cents, or 1.7%, to settle at $38.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, ahead of the contract’s expiration Monday. The settlement was the highest for a most-active contract since early December. For the week, prices gained roughly 7.2%, which marked a fourth straight weekly climb.