Crude oil futures advanced Friday as sentiment was buoyed on expectations that the major central banks around the world would act to strengthen the global economy.
Light sweet crude for July delivery gained 0.86 percent or 72 cents to $84.63 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange during European trading hours. Brent crude oil futures for July delivery rose 0.51 percent or 50 cents to $97.67 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange in London.
Recent batch of disappointing economic readings from the U.S. signaled that the recovery was slowing in the world's biggest economy. Data released Thursday was also disappointing with the Labor Department's report showing that more Americans than expected filed for unemployment benefits last week, a sign of lost momentum in the labor market, and consumer prices also fell in May.
However, market participants hope that the weak economic data will force policymakers to announce further monetary easing measures to strengthen the economic recovery.
At a quarterly meeting in Vienna Thursday, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed to keep its output ceiling unchanged at 30 million barrels per day for the second half of the year. Member countries also confirmed their readiness to swiftly respond to developments that might place oil market stability in jeopardy.
Meanwhile, officials from the G20 nations said that central banks were ready to take steps to stabilize financial markets, if needed, by providing liquidity and preventing any credit squeeze after Sunday's Greek election, Reuters has reported.
Market participants are likely to focus on the outcome of Greece's election Sunday as the euro zone crisis could intensify again if the debt-ridden country exits from the euro area. However, hopes of a positive outcome are rising.
Light sweet crude for July delivery rose 1.6 percent and settling near $84 a barrel Thursday amid expectation that central banks around the world would coordinate to announce stimulus measures to rejuvenate the global economic growth.