OIL PRICES DOWN $49
Oil futures fell below $49 on Friday, moving further away from a seven-month high hit a day earlier, with analysts predicting range-bound markets for the next few months as supply outages slowly help to clear a glut of crude.
Prices also came under pressure from a strong U.S. dollar, buoyed by generally positive U.S. economic data amid growing expectations of a near-term increase in interest rates.
Brent LCOc1 fell 1.3 percent, or 64 cents, to $48.95 a barrel by 1031 GMT, retreating from the previous session's $50.51 peak, its highest since early November.
U.S. crude CLc1 dropped 45 cents to $49.03 a barrel after touching $50.21 on Thursday, its highest since early October.
Oil pushed through $50 for the first time in about seven months on Thursday after supply disruptions from Canadian wildfires and militant attacks in Nigeria helped cut global daily output by 4 million barrels.
"Most of these outages are unlikely to last. The return of disrupted supply and OPEC's increasing of production lay the foundation for a wider market surplus, and for prices to fall back below $40 in the short run," UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo said in a note.
"A combination of contracting non-OPEC production and rising demand in emerging markets will result in a balanced oil market in 2017," he said, adding that he expected Brent to trade at around $55 a barrel in 12 months.
Oil fell to $27 in January from as high as $115 in mid-2014, leading to a halt in the growth of U.S. oil production.
But with prices recovering to around $50, many shale producers will reactivate their investments, said Tony Nunan, oil risk manager at Tokyo's Mitsubishi Corp.
"Shale's total production costs are around $48-$50 a barrel - there will be producers who make money at $50," Nunan said.
Investors were also awaiting the appearance of U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen at an event later on Friday for further indications on when the Fed could raise interest rates.
The dollar has risen more than 2 percent against a basket of currencies so far in May. .DXY. A meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on June 2 may also give further direction to oil markets.
"Most people feel the meeting will be neutral or bad," Nunan said, with a neutral outcome leading to no change in oil output, while moves by producers such as Saudi Arabia to boost production would be bad.
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BLOOMBERG - Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a Texas judge that Exxon Mobil Corp. doesn’t have a right to see privileged documents related to a $2 million fine assessed against the energy company for violating sanctions related to Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine.
NPD - Preliminary production figures for June 2018 show an average daily production of 1 747 000 barrels of oil, NGL and condensate, which is an increase of 88 000 barrels per day compared to May.
NOVATEK - In the first half 2018, NOVATEK’s hydrocarbons production totaled 264.3 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), including 32.93 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas and 5,864 thousand tons of liquids (gas condensate and crude oil), resulting in an increase in total hydrocarbons production by 6.3 million boe, or by 2.4%, as compared to the first half 2017.
REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 75 cents, or 1 percent, at $78.11 a barrel by 0308 GMT, having fallen as low as $77.60. U.S. crude CLc1 was down 55 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $73.56.