Oil prices dip at end of strong week

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For the week, WTI finished up 2.4 percent and Brent 2.0 percent
NEW YORK (AFP) – World oil prices closed a strong week slightly lower Friday, as profit taking chipped away at the rally spurred largely by optimism for a production freeze by major producers.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in April fell 76 cents to $39.44 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In London, Brent North Sea crude for May delivery, the European benchmark, finished at $41.20 a barrel after dipping 34 cents from Thursday s settlement.

The modest declines followed two straight days of gains that pushed WTI and Brent to their highest levels of the year Thursday.

For the week, WTI finished up 2.4 percent and Brent 2.0 percent.

“We had another strong week. It s the fifth of consecutive gains,” said Matt Smith of ClipperData. “So I think heading into the weekend people are taking some profits.”

Qatar s energy minister, Mohammed al-Sada, confirmed this week that exporters from within and outside the OPEC cartel will meet April 17 in Doha, stoking hopes of an agreement to ease a global supply glut.

“Crude oil has found support from growing optimism that key OPEC and non-OPEC producers will agree a deal to freeze production,” Inenco energy consultants said in a note to clients.

Smith pointed out that the dollar s renewed strength had weighed Friday on the market. Crude oil is priced in the US currency.

2016-03-20

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