Brent crude oil hit $60 a barrel on Friday for the first time in more than two years, in the latest sign the market is tightening after a three-year glut. The international oil benchmark hit a high of $60.53 a barrel in afternoon trading in London, taking gains to more than 35 per cent since it slumped to a low for the year of $45 a barrel in June. Oil has been boosted by strong demand as the world’s economy expands at its fastest in years, helped along by prices that remain almost half the level they were in mid-2014. Opec’s output cuts, made in conjunction with Russia and other large producers, have also served to tighten up the market since the started on January 1 with the $60-a-barrel level believed to be a key target for the cartel’s de facto leader, Saudi Arabia. “A solid global demand backdrop coupled with Opec-led cuts is eating into the oil glut,” said Stephen Brennock at PVM oil brokerage in London. “Commercial oil inventories are trending lower and the surplus above the five-year average has been halved to around 160m barrels since the start of the year. Injecting a further dose of bullish impetus is the constant stream of price-supportive comments from Opec officials.” Opec and Russian officials have both indicated in recent weeks that they favour extending their output cuts until at least late 2018 when they meet in Vienna next month, damping fears they could return to flood the market as prices rise.