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Crude Oil Steadies Near $45 Ahead Of Rig Count

Crude oil futures were slightly higher Friday morning, trimming this week's brutal losses ahead of the U.S. rig count.

U.S. drillers have added rigs 20 weeks in a row, the longest streak on record.

Yesterday, OPEC said it estimates that US crude oil production will rise by 800,000 bpd in 2017. Only six months ago, OPEC said U.S. production was going to fall in 2017.

WTI light sweet crude oil was up 41 cents at $44.87 a barrel, having touched a yearly low in the previous session.

U.S housing starts data will be released at 8.30 am ET. The economists are looking for growth of 1.223 million, up from 1.172 million in the prior year. Permits are projected to be almost steady at 1.249 million.

The Institute for Social Research of the University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment data for June will be revealed at 10.00 am ET. The consensus is for an unchanged 97.1 from prior period.

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