Oil ends week down on uncertainty over OPEC cuts

Fri Oct 28, 2016 4:21pm EDT
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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...

Workers adjust the valves of an oil pipe as smoke rises from burning excess gas (in the background) in Zubair oilfield in Basra, 420 km (260 miles) southeast of Baghdad May 23, 2011.   REUTERS/Atef Hassan