MTECHTIPS:-Crude Oil Edges Up In Asia As US Rig Count Drop Offers

MTECHTIPS:-Crude Oil Edges Up In Asia As US Rig Count Drop Offers Support

MTECHTIPS-Crude oil prices gained in Asia on Monday as a drop in the US rig count aided sentiment and investors kept an eye on street protests in Iran to see if moves by the Revolutionary Guards to tamp down gatherings draws a backlash. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for February delivery rose 0.28% to $61.61 a barrel. ICE Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., inched up 0.01% to $67.73 a barrel. Last week, oil prices fell on Friday after closing at fresh three-year highs on Thursday as fears over rising U.S. production undermined a rally driven by tightening supplies and geopolitical tensions. Oil prices came under pressure amid ongoing fears of rising U.S. production, which remained near record levels, despite data showing the number of U.S. oil rigs fell by the most since November. The number of oil rigs operating in the U.S. fell by five to 742, according to data from energy services firm Baker Hughes. Hedge funds and other money managers cut net long U.S. crude futures and options positions in the week to Jan. 2 by 5,507 contracts to 455,330 in New York and London, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said. Gross long positions among money managers on the NYMEX fell to 436,115 from 453,470; gross short positions fell for a second week to 39,734 from 41,498. The ICE commitment of traders figures showed money managers raised their net long holdings of Brent crude futures and options by 4,175 contracts to 565,459 in the week to Jan. 2, roughly equal to about 565 million barrels of oil

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