Crude Increases in Asia with U.S. Rig Count Figures Ahead

On Friday, crude prices increased a little in Asia as investors watched rig count figures in the U.S. for direction.

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On Friday, crude prices increased a little in Asia as investors watched rig count figures in the U.S. for direction.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, delivery of  crude futures for May increase 0.15% to $52.69 a barrel, while on London’s Intercontinental Exchange,  Brent increased gains  0.13% $55.15 a barrel, 11:02PM ET.

In the meantime, market players turn attention to Baker Hughes rig count, scheduled to be released at 13:00 ET on Friday. The previous week, the Baker Hughes US oil rig count increased by 5, topping 600 for the first time since October 2015.

On Thursday, crude settled more than 2% lower overnight, as increasing U.S. crude stockpiles added to surplus concerns while Russia failed to initiate additional output reductions in January.

According to energy ministry data,  Russia’s February oil production was unmoved from January at 11.1 million barrels per day (bdp), with reductions remaining at 100,000, which is well below the output cuts pledged by Russia in an agreement with The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries  (OPEC)  last November.

In November of the previous year, The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries  and other producers, even Russia agreed to reduce production by approximately 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in an effort to combat the supply and demand balance that has pressured prices over the last two years.

Russia’s weak compliance with the agreed agreement to reduce output  came fresh off the heels of renewed concerns of record levels of U.S. crude stockpiles.

On Wednesday,  an Energy Information Agency (EIA) report indicated crude inventories in the United States increase for an eighth straight week to a record 520.2 million barrels for the week ended Feb 24.

“The build-up in U.S. crude oil inventories to record high levels, overshadowed a Reuters survey on Tuesday that found OPEC cut its oil output for a second month in February, following a record high compliance level by OPEC members in January,” according to the reports.

On Additional News

On Friday, oil markets rose  as the greenback  inched away from a multi week peak, however, prices are being held in check by unmoved Russian production for February, an indication of its weak compliance on a global arrangement to reduce supplies.

The greenback fell on Friday from its highest in seven weeks against a basket of currencies, although still holding close to a level that anchors  Brent crude near $55 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) just under $53, 01:16AM ET.

Benchmark Brent crude futures increased 8 cents, or 0.2%, at $55.16 a barrel, as of 0559 GMT. It closed down $1.28, or 2.3%, in the prior session.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures increased  7 cents, or 0.1%, to $52.68 a barrel after declining on Thursday to its lowest since Feb. 9. The U.S. benchmark finished in negative territory in the past three terms.

On Thursday, the greenback increased after hawkish remarks  by a U.S. Fed Reserve official motivated investors to anticipate a near-term interest rate hike.

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