OIL PRICE: ABOVE $57
REUTERS, BLOOMBERG, OILPRICE - Oil prices were mixed on Friday, but both Brent and U.S. crude were set to chalk up another weekly gain as investors bet that efforts to cut a global glut are working and that the demand outlook is improving.
U.S. crude CLc1 was down 8 cents at $51.48 a barrel at 0641 GMT, after earlier rising slightly. Still, the contract is heading for a fourth consecutively weekly gain and is on track for a 9 percent advance this month.
Brent LCOc1 rose 1 cent to $57.42 a barrel, heading for a fifth weekly climb and a nearly 10 percent gain for September.
The price gains, most of them in the last two-and-a-half weeks, have come as traders anticipated renewed demand from U.S. refiners that were resuming operations after shutdowns due to Hurricane Harvey.
Major world oil producers outside the United States have also indicated they will stick with output cuts to limit supply.
They are getting support from Turkey's threats to cut off a pipeline from the Kurdish region of Iraq after a referendum where Kurds voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence.
"(There is) an increasingly positive view from the supply side, with potential Kurdish production disruption, and a plethora of energy agencies suggesting global demand is increasing," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA in Singapore.
"The technical picture still looks positive for both contracts with the consolidation and gentle pull-backs thus far suggesting oil is pausing for breath at these levels," he said.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said this week he could use force to prevent the formation of an independent Kurdish state and might close the oil "tap".
The Kurdish region exports about 500,000 barrels a day through a pipeline that runs through Turkey to the Mediterranean Sea.
Turkey promised on Thursday to deal only with the Iraqi government on crude, the office of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said.
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AN - China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) is willing to invest $3 billion in its existing oil and gas operation in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Sunday following a meeting with the Chinese in Abuja.
REUTERS - Production at Libya’s giant Sharara oil field was expected to fall by at least 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Saturday after two staff were abducted in an attack by an unknown group, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said.
IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.
IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.