Oil prices rise as supply concerns persist

NEW YORK, May 20 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices climbed on Friday, bolstered by lingering concerns over tight supplies.

The West Texas Intermediate for June delivery added 1.02 U.S. dollars, or 0.9 percent, to settle at 113.23 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for July delivery increased 51 cents, or nearly 0.5 percent, to close at 112.55 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

The upswing came as the European Union worked on gaining support for a proposed ban of Russian crude imports.

Earlier this month, the EU unveiled a plan to phase out Russian crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of the year, as part of its sixth sanction package aimed against Moscow. The embargo requires unanimity from its 27 member states.

Also lending buoyancy to prices was market optimism that China would see a solid recovery in fuel demand.

Meanwhile, oil gains were somewhat capped by concerns over slowing global growth.

For the week, the U.S. crude benchmark rose 2.5 percent, while Brent gained 0.9 percent, based on the front-month contracts.

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