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Oil dips but still on track for biggest weekly gain since July

Reuters  |  LONDON 

By Nasralla

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices slipped slightly on Friday but were still heading for their largest weekly gain since July after U.S. Donald Trump's comments about possible military action in and reports of dwindling global

Erasing earlier gains, Brent crude was down 9 cents at $71.93 a barrel by 1219 GMT, barely denting weekly gains of about 7 percent, or around $4.50.

U.S. crude for May delivery fell 7 cents to $67, too little to derail the contract's path to a weekly jump of nearly 8 percent, or about $5.

"You have to put today's moves in the context of the last three days. There hasn't been any particular change today in terms of geopolitics or fundamental data," said of

"We're now in a consolidation period."

Both hit their highest since late 2014 on Wednesday after Trump warned that missiles "will be coming" in response to a in and after said it intercepted missiles over

Trump tweeted on Thursday that an attack on "could be very soon or not so soon at all", raising the prospect that an attack might not be as imminent as he seemed to suggest the previous day.

"As we start the last day of the week, we feel that the geopolitical risks are not as high as feared three days ago," Petromatrix said in a note.

"The Syrian escalation risk cannot be fully written off, but we view that it deserves less of a premium than three days ago."

A global surplus is close to evaporating, OPEC said on Thursday, adding that its collective output fell to 31.96 million barrels per day (bpd) in March, down 201,000 bpd from February.

Vienna-based OPEC and its allies are poised to extend their supply reduction pact into 2019 even as the global glut of crude looks set to be eradicated by September, OPEC told

The International Energy Agency (IEA), which coordinates the of industrialised nations, signalled on Friday that markets could become too tight if supply remains restrained.

"It is not for us to declare on behalf of the agreement countries that it is 'mission accomplished', but if our outlook is accurate, it certainly looks very much like it," the IEA said.

Meanwhile China's March climbed month on month to the second-highest level on record.

In Norway, has shut output at its because of a small at a platform that has capacity of close to 100,000 barrels a day.

(Additional reporting by in Tokyo; Editing by David Goodman)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 13 2018. 17:56 IST