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Oil Futures Settle Modestly Higher For The Day, Shed Nearly 4% In Week

Crude oil futures settled higher on Friday, moving up after two successive days of sharp losses, but ended with a sharp weekly loss.

Worries about outlook for energy demand due to the surge in the delta variant of the coronavirus and continued uncertainty about the OPEC+ agreeing on a deal on crude output weighed on the commodity earlier in the week.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended up by $0.16 or about 0.2% at $71.81 a barrel. On Thursday, the contract recorded its lowest finish in about a month.

Oil futures shed nearly 4% in the week.

With several countries across the world beginning to tighten restrictions to curb the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus, analysts are of the view that oil demand might weaken in some parts in the coming weeks.

According to a report from Baker Hughes, oil and gas rigs count in the U.S. rose for a third week in a row, increasing by 5 to 484 in the week to July 16, the highest level since April 2020.

U.S. oil rigs rose two to 380 this week, their highest since April 2020. Gas rigs increased by three to 104, their highest since March 2020, rising for five weeks in a row, the longest streak since March 2018, the data showed.

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