2024.01.1908:41:00UTC+00Oil Prices Modestly Higher As IEA Raises Demand Forecast

Oil prices were slightly higher on Friday amid heightened geopolitical tensions, higher forecasts for global oil demand and data showing a drop in U.S. crude stockpiles last week.

Benchmark Brent crude futures rose 0.4 percent to $79.41 a barrel, while WTI crude futures were up 0.4 percent at $74.27.

Geopolitical tensions escalated as Pakistan and Iran engage in reciprocal airstrikes. The U.S. said it is concerned about the escalating tensions in the region and has urged restraint on all sides.

Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has again raised its 2024 global oil demand growth forecast, predicting that global oil consumption will rise by 1.24 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2024, compared with OPEC's 2.25 million bpd projection.

A decline in U.S. crude inventories also supported oil prices.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a larger-than-expected draw in crude inventories of 2.5 million barrels, but gasoline and distillate inventories rose to multi-year highs.

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