Crude Settles Weaker In U.S.

Crude prices fell in the U.S. on Friday to settle lower as data on drilling activity weighed on sentiment by highlighting how rapidly small producers can respond to higher prices.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude futures for March delivery fell 1.13% to $53.17 a barrel, while Brent futures on London’s Intercontinental Exchange dropped 1.28% to $55,52 a barrel.

U.S. drillers added 13 rigs by the end of last week, taking the total active to 566, Baker Hughes said on Friday with the oilfield services firm now noting gains in 12 of the past 13-week period and up from 498 a year ago.

The gains come on the back of a recovery in global crude prices above $50 a barrel since late last year and into 2017 when a pact between OPEC and non-OPEC nations agreed to nearly 1.8 million barrels-per-day of supply cuts to global markets for the first six months of the year.

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