Oil prices edge down on thin trading

| Updated: October 25, 2017 01:56:09

Oil prices lower on thin trading

Oil prices were lower on thin trading on Friday but on course for weekly gains, the third in a row in the case of Brent, as the clean-up after hurricanes in the United States gathered pace.


The markets were in slower pace after North Korea fired off yet another missile in breach of United Nations sanctions, amid high regional tensions over its nuclear weapons programme.


US West Texas Intermediate crude was down 21 cents, or 0.4 per cent, at $49.68 a barrel at 0302 GMT.


It briefly broke above $50 on Thursday, hitting a four-month high, and finished 1.2 per cent higher at $49.89, its highest close since July 31.


Brent crude futures were down 29 cents, or 0.5 per cent, at $55.18 a barrel. They gained 0.6 per cent to settle at $55.47 the previous session, the highest close since April 13.


Nevertheless, US crude is on track for a nearly 5.0 per cent gain this week, buoyed by the return of refineries after Hurricane Harvey and stronger indications of demand.


Brent is heading for a 2.6 per cent gain and a third consecutive weekly rise.


The OPEC this week pointed to signs of a tighter global market, indicating its production-cutting deal with non-member countries is helping to tackle a supply glut.


That was followed by the IEA saying the global oil glut was shrinking thanks to strong European and US demand, as well as production declines in OPEC and non-OPEC countries.

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