NEW YORK: Brent oil prices edged up on Friday, supported by tensions over Iran and a decision by OPEC and its allies to extend an output supply cut deal until next year, while US benchmark crude prices fell on weak economic indicators.
Brent was up 67 cents, or 1.1%, to $63.97 a barrel by 11:20 a.m. EDT (1520 GMT). US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) slipped 20 cents to $57.14 a barrel. The US market was closed on Thursday for a national holiday, and trade volumes remained light for WTI on Friday.
Both benchmarks were set to record weekly losses.
A slump in equities, which crude futures often follow, also weighed on oil prices.
A trade war between the United States and China has dampened prospects of global economic growth and oil demand, but talks between the two nations resume next week in a bid to resolve the deadlock.
"The complex is maintaining a heavy feel that was set into motion earlier this week by mounting expectations of a global economic slowdown that will be impacting oil demand," Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch and Associates said in a note.
"While demand trends beyond the US are always difficult to gauge, manufacturing activity in some of the larger industrial countries such as Germany is offering further disappointment," he said.
German industrial orders fell far more than expected in May, and the Economy Ministry said this sector of Europe's largest economy was likely to remain weak in the coming months.
In the United States, new orders for factory goods fell for a second straight month in May, government data showed, stoking the economic concerns.
The US Energy Information Administration reported on Wednesday a weekly decline of 1.1 million barrels in crude stocks, smaller than the 5 million barrel draw reported by the American Petroleum Institute and less than analyst expectations.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers such as Russia, known as OPEC+, supported prices by extending their deal on supply cuts.
Tension in the Middle East also offered some support. Iran threatened on Friday to capture a British ship after British forces seized an Iranian tanker in Gibraltar over accusations the ship was violating EU sanctions on Syria.
"It is just another sign that the market sentiment is not strong enough to react to those headlines and events, which is quite unusual," Petromatrix oil analyst Olivier Jakob said.
A Reuters survey found OPEC oil output sank to a new five-year low in June, as a rise in Saudi supply did not offset losses in Iran and Venezuela due to US sanctions and other outages elsewhere in the group.