Crude Oil Continues Losing Streak Amid Supply Outlook

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Crude oil prices dipped further in Asia on Friday as the supply outlook and a stronger dollar weigh.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, WTI crude for January delivery eased 0.37% to $34.82 a barrel.

Ahead, U.S. rig count data from Baker Hughes Incorporated (N:BHI) will set the tone.

Overnight, U.S. crude futures fell considerably on Thursday extending losses from a massive sell-off in the prior session, as investors continued to digest a sizable inventory build from last week.

Earlier this week, the front month contract for WTI crude dipped below $35 a barrel for the first time since 2008, as the aftershocks from OPEC’s meeting at the start of the month continued to be felt. U.S. crude has closed in the red in eight of the last 10 trading days.

On the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Brent crude for February delivery wavered between $36.95 and $37.92 a barrel before closing at $37.06, down 0.33 or 0.88%. North Brent Sea futures have closed in the green in only three sessions during the month of December.

When OPEC met in Vienna on December 4, the world’s largest oil cartel intensified the prolonged downturn in oil prices when it decided to delay a possible move to reduce production at least six months until it meets next in June. Both the international and U.S. domestic benchmarks of crude have plunged by more than 15% since OPEC’s decision.

Elsewhere, Russia president Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that business activity nationwide has stabilized amid signals that the price of oil has bottomed. Putin opened his annual year-end press conference at the Kremlin by telling reporters that the Russian government had been accustomed to seeing oil prices near $100 a barrel, its level from 18 months ago.

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