Oil prices edge up ahead of US rig count data


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Oil markets edged up on Friday to halt a two-day decline, helped by expectations that data later in the day would show a continuing decline in the US oil rig count, a clear sign of the pressure the tumble in crude is putting on oil producers.

The Baker Hughes survey is likely to show that the number of rigs drilling for oil in the United States fell for the 11th straight week to multi-year lows, market participants said.

London Brent crude for April delivery was trading 30 cents higher at $60.51 a barrel by 0245 GMT after settling down 32 cents on Thursday.

Oil has rallied over the past month, with Brent gaining about 34 per cent from a mid-January low as traders covered short positions following a 60 per cent crash since June.

US crude for March delivery, which expires later in the day, was up 41 cents at $51.57. Trading was quiet in Asian hours as markets in China, Singapore and severalother countries were closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.


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The U.S. crude-oil benchmark failed to hold on to initial gains Tuesday, losing ground for a fifth straight session as traders awaited the latest round of supply data.Brent crude for April delivery LCOJ5, +0.41% on London’s ICE exchange also failed to hold on to initial gains, dropping 24 cents, or 0.4%, to close at $58.66 a barrel.
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