By Ben Sharples Oil traded near after capping its first weekly gain in two months as investors weigh rising OPEC output against speculation supply from outside the group will slow. Futures were little changed in London and New York. Iraq is pumping at a record pace of 4 million barrels a day, Oil Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said. Non-OPEC nations will boost output this year at a weaker rate than previously forecast, according to the International Energy Agency. Crude slumped almost 50 percent last year as the U.S. pumped oil at the fastest rate in more than three decades while OPEC resisted calls to cut supply. U.S. producers idled a record number of drill rigs during the past six weeks, according to data from Baker Hughes Inc. “The bigger picture remains from a fundamental point-of-view,” Ric Spooner, a chief strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, said by phone. “We have a supply surplus and there is yet to be any significant news of reduction in capacity so the market remains very vulnerable to further price decline.” West Texas Intermediate for February delivery, which expires on Jan. 20, was down 2 cents at .67 a barrel at 3:12 p.m. in … continue reading
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Source: CTRM Center