On Friday, crude futures edged up on mounting concerns about supply disruptions and Iran, a weak dollar, and improved consumer sentiment as oil prices posted a 4.2 percent gain in the first quarter of 2012.
The trading trajectory of crude futures was choppy and prices jumped after Obama administration said there is enough global oil supply for allowing countries to cut imports from Iran. President Obama was required by law for determining whether the price and supply of non-Iranian oil are sufficient to allow consuming nations to "significantly" cut their purchases from Iran by March 30, and every six months after that. This law allows the United States to sanction foreign banks after June 28 that carry out oil-related transactions with Iran's central bank.
According to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's survey, U.S. consumer confidence rebounded to its highest in 13 months in March primarily because of optimism about jobs and income overcame higher prices at the gasoline pump.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, May crude rose 24 cents, or 0.23 percent, to settle at $103.02 a barrel having traded from $102.78 to $104.15. Front-month crude rose $4.19, or 4.2 percent for the quarter and U.S. crude fell $4.05, or 3.78 percent for the month. For the quarter, front-month Brent crude jumped $15.50, or 14.4 percent and Brent May crude on Friday rose 49 cents, or 0.40 percent, to settle at $122.88 a barrel on the InterContinental Exchange.