REUTERS

Brent crude prices eased on Friday but hovered near $70 a barrel as production cuts by major oil producers constrained supply, with optimism about a recovery in demand for the resource in the second half of the year also lending support.

Brent crude futures for May slipped 11 cents, or 0.2%, to $69.52 a barrel by 0403 GMT while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for April was at $65.83 a barrel, down 19 cents, or 0.3%, as reported by Reuters.

Read alsoU.S. looking into more sanctions against Nord Stream 2Front-month Brent is on track to post weekly gains for the eighth week after touching a 13-month high on Monday following attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities.

Sentiment was also buoyed by the decision of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, earlier this month to largely hold production cuts in April.

Investors have been pumping funds into commodities such as oil on expectations of a demand recovery in the second half of the year as the global economy grows, while a wider rollout of vaccines against the COVID-19 pandemic allows more people to travel this summer.

OPEC said on Thursday a recovery in oil demand will be focused on the second half of the year.

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