By Laila Kearney
(Reuters) – Oil prices rose in early Asian trade on Friday on the prospect that a stalled Iran nuclear agreement and Moscow’s new mobilization campaign in its invasion of Ukraine would further restrict global supplies.
Brent crude futures gained 16 cents, or 0.2%, to $90.62 per barrel by 0020 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 22 cents to $83.71 per barrel.
Oil edged up after a senior U.S. State Department official said that efforts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal have stalled due to Tehran’s insistence on the closure of the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s investigations.
“We’ve hit a wall” because of Iran’s stance, the U.S. official told reporters on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, adding that nothing had happened this week to suggest Iran is willing to change its position. The remarks eased expectations of a resurgence of Iranian crude oil.
Prices were also supported by Moscow’s decision to push ahead with its biggest conscription since World War Two, raising concerns that an escalation of the war in Ukraine would continue to tighten oil supplies.
Rebounding crude oil demand in China, which is the world’s largest oil importer, lent support to crude prices.
Central bank interest rate hikes, including the U.S. Federal Reserve’s 75 basis points rise on Wednesday, along with increases by the Swiss National Bank, Norway’s central bank and Indonesia’s central bank, limited oil prices by raising the likelihood of economic slowdowns that would erode fuel demand.
(Reporting by Laila Kearney in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler)