Crude oil prices continued to rise Friday morning ahead the weekly U.S. rig count report.
U.S. drillers have been added rigs at a strong pace to take advantage of oil prices at 4-year highs, but OPEC has been determined to end the global supply glut by cutting production among its members.
WTI light sweet oil was up 21 cents at $61.55 a barrel.
The U.S. is considering an embargo on Venezuelan oil in order to pressure its government into sweeping reforms. The Venezuelan economy has tanked, sanitary conditions are putrid, and the people are not getting enough food, according to reports.
U.S. housing Starts data for January will be published at 8.30 am ET. Analysts are looking for 1.232 million, up from 1.192 million in the prior month. Permits are expected to be almost in line with the prior month at 1.300 million.
The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment report for February is expected at 10.00 am ET. The consensus is for 95.5, compared to 95.7 in January.