Oil steadies as political risks mingle with economic worries

1of17Pump Jacks extract crude oil from oil wells in Midland, Texas, on Dec. 17, 2018.Photo: Bloomberg photo by Angus Mordant.

Oil steadied below $64 a barrel in New York as ongoing threats to supply from political crises were offset by disappointing indicators on the global economy.

West Texas Intermediate futures gained 12 cents, bringing their gain this week to 0.2 percent. A Purchasing Managers’ Index, which measures private-sector activity in the euro area, unexpectedly slid in April, and German factory numbers came in lower than forecast. Still, an escalating crisis in OPEC nation Libya threatens to add to disruptions in Venezuela and Iran at the same time that other members are deliberately restraining production.

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Oil has climbed about 40 percent in New York this year as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies cut supplies, which have been further squeezed by crises in OPEC members Venezuela and Iran, which are both subject to American sanctions. But the rally has lost steam amid fears about global economic growth, which the International…

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