MTECHTIPS;-Oil ticks up in familiar range as traders weigh OPEC cuts

MTECHTIPS;-Oil ticks up in familiar range as traders weigh OPEC cuts, U.S. drilling

MTECHTIPS-Oil prices edged higher in a familiar trading range during North American morning hours on Monday, as market players continued to weigh the prospect of production cuts by major crude-producing nations against a rise in U.S. drilling. Brent oil for April delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London tacked on 31 cents, or about 0.6%, to $56.12 a barrel by 10:00 AM ET (15:00 GMT). The global benchmark scored a loss of 89 cents, or around 1.6%, last week, the second straight weekly decline. Elsewhere, crude oil for April delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange inched up 20 cents, or 0.4%, to $53.98 a barrel. New York-traded oil futures slumped 46 cents, or nearly 0.9%, last week, snapping a four-week win streak. Trading activity was likely to stay light as markets in the U.S. remain closed for President’s Day on Monday. Futures have been trading in a narrow range around the lower-to-mid-$ 50 s over the past two months as sentiment in oil markets has been torn between expectations of a rebound in U.S. shale production and hopes that oversupply may be curbed by output cuts announced by major global producers. Data from oilfield services provider Baker Hughes on Friday revealed that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil rose by six last week, the fifth weekly increase in a row. That brought the total count to 597, the most since November 2015. The revival in U.S. drilling has raised concerns that the ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production could derail efforts by other major producers to re balance global oil supply and demand

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