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On Thursday, oil prices in Asia rose due to concerns about lower supply and signs of stronger economic growth in the U.S. Brent futures for June and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures for May both saw gains, with the June Brent contract and the May WTI contract rising for the past four days.

The increase in oil prices can be attributed to various factors, including geopolitical tensions such as Ukraine’s attacks on Russian refineries affecting fuel supply and concerns about potential disruptions in the Middle East region due to the Israel-Hamas conflict. Additionally, Russia’s shift towards output restrictions rather than export curbs was also a contributing factor.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s cautious approach towards future interest rate hikes, citing strong job growth and inflation, was viewed positively for oil prices as it indicated robust economic growth in the U.S. In the Middle East, Iran’s vow of retaliation against Israel for a recent attack further added to concerns about supply disruptions, as Iran is a significant producer within OPEC.

A meeting of top ministers from OPEC and its allies on Wednesday maintained the current supply policy but urged some countries to adhere to output cuts more strictly. Despite these efforts, oil prices continue to rise due to global demand and geopolitical risks that threaten supply stability.

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