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UPDATE 8-Oil holds near five-month high in most bullish week since July

UPDATE 8-Oil holds near five-month high in most bullish week since July
From Reuters - September 15, 2017

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Brent oil prices held near five-month highs on Friday, and were on track for the biggest weekly gain since late July, on forecasts for rising demand and the gradual restart of U.S. oil refineries.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries this week forecast higher demand for its oil in 2018 and pointed to signs of a tighter global market, indicating its deal with non-OPEC states to cut output is helping tackle a glut.

That was followed by a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) saying the glut was shrinking thanks to strong European and U.S. demand, as well as production declines in OPEC and non-OPEC countries.

This boost to the market is attracting fresh speculative length, said Gene McGillian, director of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford.

To sustain current high prices, continued strength in demand is needed, he said, noting that a weak fourth quarter in the U.S. could prompt traders to back off of long positions.

Brent crude LCOc1 was down 3 cents at $55.44 a barrel by 1:11 p.m. EDT (1711 GMT), in a volatile session that saw it stretch from an intraday low of $54.86 to a high of $55.85 a barrel.

The benchmark was on track for its third straight weekly gain, rising 3.1 percent so far, which would be the highest weekly rise since the end of July.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 was down 21 cents at $49.68 a barrel. The contract looked set for a nearly 5 percent weekly gain, also its strongest in almost two months.

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