Brent Set for Weekly Gain

Brent Set for Weekly GainBrent Set for Weekly Gain

Brent crude held close to $49 a barrel on Friday, poised to post the first weekly gain in three weeks despite a supply glut that has tested storage capacity and hammered oil company results.

The potential gain, driven by smaller-than-expected builds in US oil stocks, was widely viewed as a temporary boost in a market that is awash with oil and staring down sluggish economic growth in key markets such as the United States and China, Reuters reported.

Brent crude was trading 35 cents higher at $49.15 a barrel on Friday, set for a more than 2% weekly rise.

US crude was trading 15 cents higher at $46.21 a barrel, on track to post a gain of nearly 4% on the week.

"Looking at the bigger picture, there is still lots of oil in the US," PVM Oil Associates analyst Tamas Varga said. "We should see a softer market in the coming days."

Traders said a 3.4 million barrel crude build reported by the US Energy Information Administration provided the primary support for the weekly increase. The build fell short of some analysts' expectations and sparked a nearly $3 rally in US crude.

A Reuters survey showed October OPEC oil output falling from the previous month, as declines from Saudi Arabia and Iraq outweighed increases from African members.