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Oil on Track for 1st Weekly Loss

Oil on Track for 1st Weekly LossOil on Track for 1st Weekly Loss

Oil prices fell on Friday as a strong dollar made it more expensive to hold the dollar-denominated commodity, setting contracts up for the first weekly loss in five weeks.

Global benchmark Brent crude futures were down 7 cents at $51.31 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate crude was trading at $50.33 a barrel, down 30 cents from its last settlement, Reuters reported.

As the dollar surged to a seven-month high against a basket of currencies, its third straight week of gains, oil prices slipped to set up the first weekly loss since mid-September.

A stronger dollar means dollar-traded commodities become more expensive to hold, making it less attractive for investors to buy them.

Prices defied initial bullishness fed by Russian comments reiterating its commitment to joining a producers' output freeze to stem a two-year slide in prices.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday an oil production freeze agreement was necessary to prop up prices and that he would make proposals to his Saudi Arabian counterpart this weekend.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will hold a meeting on Nov. 30 to find common ground on capping output. This is expected to work out how each member country will contribute to a freeze.

"Supply cut discussions have stabilized the prices above $50 a barrel. What we see now is somewhat consolidating in a wait-and-see mood," said Frank Klumpp, oil analyst at Stuttgart-based Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg.

Oil-producing countries are hoping for higher crude prices to boost their economies. Nigeria's finance minister said on Friday he hoped oil prices would stabilize in a range of $42-50 a barrel.

 

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