Investing.com - Oil futures settled lower for the fifth session in a row on Friday, extending losses to the weakest level in around three weeks as signs of further gains in U.S. crude output pressured prices.
The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude June contract touched a session low of $49.20 a barrel, a level not seen since March 29. It was last at $49.62 by close of trade Friday, down $1.09, or about 2.2%.
The U.S. benchmark lost $3.35, or almost 7%, on the week, its steepest drop in over a month.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for June delivery slumped $1.03, or roughly 2%, to settle at $51.96 a barrel by close of trade. The global benchmark fell to $51.57 earlier, its cheapest since March 29.
For the week, London-traded Brent futures recorded a loss of $3.59, or 7%.
U.S. drillers last week added rigs for the 14th week in a row, data from energy services company Baker Hughes showed on Friday, extending a 10-month drilling recovery.
That brought the total count to 688, the most since September 2015, underlining concern that an ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production could derail efforts by other major producers to rebalance global oil supply and demand.
In November last year, OPEC and other producers, including Russia agreed to cut output by about 1.8 million barrels per day between January and June, but so far the move has had little impact on inventory levels.
A final decision on whether or not to extend the deal beyond June will be taken by the oil cartel on May 25.
Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for May lost 2.6 cents, or about 1.6% to end at its lowest since March 29 at $1.644 on Friday. It closed down around 5.2% for the week.
May heating oil fell 2.5 cents to finish at $1.553 a gallon, the lowest since March 30. For the week, the fuel lost roughly 5.8%.
Natural gas futures for May delivery dropped 5.8 cents to $3.101 per million British thermal units, down 1.8% for the session and about 3.9% lower for the week.
In the week ahead, market participants will eye fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Tuesday and Wednesday to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer.
Meanwhile, traders will also continue to pay close attention to comments from global oil producers for further evidence that they are complying with their agreement to reduce output this year.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.
Tuesday, April 25
The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is to publish its weekly report on U.S. oil supplies.
Wednesday, April 26
The U.S. Energy Information Administration is to release weekly data on oil and gasoline stockpiles.
Thursday, April 27
The U.S. government is to produce a weekly report on natural gas supplies in storage.
Friday, April 28
Baker Hughes will release weekly data on the U.S. oil rig count.
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