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Oil Rises on Positive Economic Outlooks

Oil prices rose in Asian trade on Friday and were poised for a third straight weekly jump, buoyed by growing expectations that the U.S. central bank will soon start to cut interest rates.

Brent crude futures for August settlement, which expire on Friday, rose 41 cents, or 0.47% to $86.80 a barrel by 0439 GMT. The Brent contract for September was up 0.5% at $85.69 a barrel.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures for August delivery rose 50 cents, or 0.61%, to $82.24 a barrel. Brent and WTI futures have gained nearly 2% so far this week, with both benchmarks also on track for gains of slightly more than 6% month on month – erasing losses earlier in May.

“Crude oil edged higher despite weak near-term fundamentals,” said ANZ analysts, referring to unexpected gains in U.S. crude inventories despite expectations of a drawdown during the summer peak demand. “… prices gained amid a risk-on tone across the broader market … triggered by data that signalled further U.S. labour market weakness,” they added in a client note.

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