Crude oil futures pulled back from three and a half year highs and ended lower on Friday amid signs that U.S. production will remain robust. Baker Hughes reported that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil rose by 10 to 844 this week, the sixth consecutive weekly increase. However, the prices marked a second weekly climb in a row, driven by uncertainty over how much oil the global market will lose following the U.S. decision to re-impose sanctions on OPEC member Iran.
Benchmark crude oil futures for June delivery fell 66 cents or 0.9 percent to settle at $70.70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. July Brent crude shed 35 cents or 0.5 percent to settle at $77.12 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.