Oil prices hit 6-week lows
Oil prices dipped toward six-week lows Friday amid signs Western powers plan to release strategic crude reserves soon. By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for May delivery was up 56 cents to $103.34 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract dived $2.63 to settle at $102.78 per barrel in New York on Thursday. In London, Brent crude for May delivery was up 83 cents at $123.22 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange. French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said Thursday that there's a “good chance” that the U.S. and Europe will agree to release some of their oil reserves. Investors are mulling how much the additional supply would lower oil prices, which have jumped from $75 in October. “A strategic stock release of some sort seems highly likely over the next few months,” Barclays Capital said in a report.