MTECHTIPS;-Crude oil prices steady in Asia ahead of US rig count data

MTECHTIPS;-Crude oil prices steady in Asia ahead of US rig count data

MTECHTIPS-Crude oil prices held mostly steady in Asia on Friday ahead of weekly rig count data from Baker Hughes expected to set the tone. On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for September delivery traded flat at $49.03 a barrel, while on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent gained 0.19% to $52.01 a barrel. Overnight, crude futures settled lower on Thursday, as investors looked ahead to an Opec meeting next week for fresh insight into the oil cartel’s commitment to improve compliance with the deal to curb production. Investor sentiment on oil soured as concerns over an uptick in Opec supplies offset bullish data showing U.S. gasoline demand hit a record high while crude stockpiles dropped for the fifth straight week. Inventories of U.S. crude fell by roughly 1.5m barrels in the week ended July 28, below expectations of a draw of about only 2.9m barrels, the Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday. Opec output hit a 2017 high of 33 million bpd in July, up 90,000 bpd from the previous month, a Reuters survey showed earlier this week, despite the group’s pledge to curb production. Concerns over growing Opec production come ahead of a highly anticipating meeting among Opec members next week, as the group seeks to reaffirm its commitment to increase compliance with the deal to curb production. In May, Opec and non-Opec members agreed to extend production cuts for a period of nine months until March, but stuck to production cuts of 1.8 million bpd agreed in November last year

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