Oil prices have been on a downward spiral for the past two weeks


Oil prices rose on Friday, after two straight weeks of losses, after U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressed optimism about economic growth and continued supply concerns as a result of the Middle East conflict.

By 0347 GMT, Brent crude futures were up 31 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $89.32 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures also rose 23 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $83.80 a barrel.

For the week, Brent crude is up 2.3 percent so far, while U.S. crude is up 0.8 percent.

He told Reuters on Thursday that US gross domestic product growth in the first quarter of the year could be revised upwards and that inflation would ease after “unusual” factors pushed the economy to its weakest performance in nearly two years.

He said U.S. economic growth will be stronger than expected, as indicated by weaker-than-expected quarterly data.

Economic growth slowed in the first quarter, data showed. Prior to Yellen's comments, aftershocks from accelerating inflation weighed on oil prices as investors expected the Federal Reserve not to cut interest rates before September.

Prices gained support early in the session from supply concerns as geopolitical tensions continued in the Middle East.

Israel intensified airstrikes on Rafah after it said it would launch a wide-ranging offensive to evacuate civilians from the southern Gaza city.

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