Oil ends week down on uncertainty over OPEC cuts
By Ethan Lou
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices settled below $50 on Friday to mark their biggest weekly loss in six weeks, on concerns OPEC will not fully carry out a planned output cut, even as data showed U.S. oil drillers removed rigs from production for the first time since June.
Oil services company Baker Hughes Inc (BHI.N: Quote) said two rigs were cut this week, ending a 17-week recovery in the number supplying the market. [RIG/U]
But the market's attention remained on disagreements within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), said James L. Williams, energy economist at WTRG Economics in London, Arkansas.
"A two-rig count is not significant one way or another. That could just be somebody moving rigs."
Brent crude futures LCOc1 fell 76 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $49.71 a barrel. It hit a session low of $49.31.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate CLc1 crude fell $1.02, or 2 percent, to $48.70 a barrel. It hit a low of $48.42.
The benchmarks showed a weekly drop of about 4 percent, the biggest since mid-September.
Oil prices had slipped further on news that the Federal Bureau of Investigation found additional emails relating to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's past use of a personal server for her work as U.S. secretary of state. The U.S. stock market reversed gains. Continued...