UPDATE 2-Halliburton sees weak service pricing even as rig count rises

Wed Jul 20, 2016 10:44am EDT
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* Sees "modest uptick" in rig count in second half

* North America market has turned - CEO

* Expects N.America margins to improve in Q3

* Reports smaller-than-expected Q2 loss (Adds comments from conf call; details)

By Swetha Gopinath and Arathy S Nair

July 20 (Reuters) - Halliburton Co, the world's No.2 oilfield services provider, said it expects a "modest uptick" in rig count in the second half of the year, but emphasized that the current low pricing environment was unsustainable.

Shares of the company were down about 1.6 percent at $44.24 in morning trading on Wednesday.

Shale oil companies have started putting rigs back to work, encouraged by a near 70 percent jump in U.S. benchmark oil prices since February.

"We believe the North America market has turned," Chief Executive David Lesar said in a statement on Wednesday.   Continued...