Oil slips after 3-day rally, but support seen above $50 per barrel

Oil prices

The prices of oil eased on Friday, as traders took profits following gains in three straight days in a row on the expectation that the oil supply cut led by OPEC that was initially supposed to only last for the first half of the year would be extended.

Futures contracts for the international benchmark for oil prices, Brent crude, were priced at $52.83 per barrel, losing 13 cents from their last close.

The United States’ West Texas Intermediate crude futures went down 10 cents at $50.25 per barrel.

Crude prices were still above 4 percent higher than they were at the start of the tree-day rally on Tuesday regardless of the fall on Friday.

"Oil looks to have found a range in the low $50s," ANZ Bank said on Friday.

According to traders, there was a growing sense that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other non-OPEC members including Russia would agree to continue their agreement of reducing production seeking to raise the prices of oil.

In the previous year, OPEC and non-OPEC producers including Russia agreed to reduce output by around 1.8 million barrels per day during the first half of the year in order to eradicate a global supply glut and raise prices.

But so far, alternative oil supplies, including from the U.S. where stockpiles of oil are rising, and doubts that Russia was complying with the production cut, have impeded on the rebalancing of the market.

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