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Oil heads for second week of gains as output cut extension expected

Oil heads for second week of gains as output cut extension expected

 

A pump jack operates at a well site leased by Devon Energy Production Company near Guthrie, Oklahoma September 15, 2015.    REUTERS/Nick Oxford

Oil prices were heading on Friday for a second week of gains on growing expectations that big crude exporters will extend output cuts to curb a persistent glut in inventories.

Brent crude LCOc1 was up 65 cents at $53.16 at 1138 GMT (7.38 a.m. ET), after climbing to $53.20, its highest since April 21. U.S. benchmark crude oil CLc1 was up 61 cents at $49.96 a barrel having touched $50.00 earlier in the session.

Since the start of March, the Brent price has swung from more than $56 a barrel to less than $47 as opinion has swayed over whether cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers will offset rising U.S. output.

"The battle between bulls and bears is raging on oil," said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at futures brokerage AxiTrader.