After a turbulent week, during which oil prices rocketed between highs and lows, the prices steadied down on Friday, the 25th of March 2011. Brent crude for May delivery rose by 20 cents to USD $ 115.92 a barrel, while WTI crude future was at USD $ 105.40 a barrel.
During the week, oil prices had been primarily affected by the ongoing political turmoil in the Middle East, which was causing speculative behavior from the investors on account of fears of reduced oil supplies. The Western forces were imposing a no-fly zone in Libya, while there were protests in Yemen, Bahrain and Syria against the autocratic regimes in these countries. However, by Friday, the risk premium from the Middle East unrest had already been incorporated into the oil price. Furthermore, official US economic data releases showed that the US economy grew by 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, which eased fears about demand falling in the US. Both of these factors contributed to the oil prices steadying down.