Oil down 4 percent as U.S. glut overshadows producer talks
By Barani Krishnan
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices fell 4 percent on Friday, with Brent down a third straight week, as record high U.S. crude stockpiles intensified worries that a plan to freeze world output will do little or nothing to reduce massive oil supplies already in the market.
A slide in the U.S. equity markets, which have for weeks been trading in tandem with oil, also weighed on crude, traders said. [.N]
Brent crude LCOc1 settled $1.27, or 3.7 percent, lower at $33.01 a barrel.
U.S. crude CLc1 lost $1.13, also finishing 3.7 percent lower at $29.64.
Even data from industry firm Baker Hughes showing the U.S. oil rig count at its lowest since December 2009 after nine straight weeks of declines failed to lift crude prices. [RIG/U]
Brent finished the week down 1 percent while U.S. crude ended flat after a particularly volatile week for oil, where prices fell and rose as much as 5 percent in a day.
Oil has shed 70 percent from highs above $100 a barrel in a selloff that has seen little pause over the past 20 months. Since last Friday though, some traders believed the market had seen a bottom on talk that OPEC was on a plan to reign in production.
This week, Saudi Arabia, the lynchpin of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, along with Qatar and Venezuela, and non-OPEC member Russia, proposed to freeze output at January's highs. Continued...