Oil prices were on track to close the week higher, with WTI oil and Brent crude each up roughly 1% after dipping earlier in the week to lows last seen in November.
Oil prices shot higher Wednesday after U.S. government data showed the first decline for domestic-crude stockpiles in 10 weeks. Prices were also helped by a weaker dollar in the wake of the Federal Reserve’s less-hawkish-than-expected rate announcement.
Another snapshot from the oil market will arrive Friday, with oil-field services company Baker Hughes BHI, +1.34% slated to release a weekly update on the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil. Last week, the total active U.S. rig count, which includes oil and natural-gas rigs, rose by 12 to 768.
Rising output from the U.S. remains at odds with efforts by other major producers to rebalance the oversupplied oil market.
While Wednesday was a standout session, oil declined Thursday and on Friday, WTI was below $49 a barrel.
“The price action over the last few days doesn’t look particularly bullish for oil and I do wonder whether the $50 level in Brent is on borrowed time,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst, Oanda, in a note.
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