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Oil little changed, in line for weekly loss on slowdown fears

Reuters  |  NEW YORK 

By Laila Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - futures were little changed on Friday, on track for losses on the week in renewed concerns about slowing global demand.

Concerns over the ongoing trade dispute between the and dampened sentiment in as well, hurting assets like

Brent crude futures gained 27 cents to $61.90 a barrel by 12:56 p.m. EST (1756 GMT). On the week, they were set for a loss of around 1.5 percent.

U.S. Intermediate crude futures fell 5 cents to $52.59 a barrel and approached a weekly slump of nearly 5 percent, the steepest this year.

U.S. said at an event at the on Thursday he did not plan to meet Chinese before a March 1 deadline set by the two countries to reach a trade deal.

Separately, lawmakers advanced a bill known as the No Producing and Exporting Cartels Act, or NOPEC, in the U.S. House of Representatives, which stands a better chance of being signed than in years past. The bill could target OPEC producers for anti-trust behaviour in their efforts to control prices.

The is opposed to the bill, but Trump in the past has voiced support for legislation of this type. A senior on Friday said the does not "support market-distorting behaviour, including cartels" when asked whether Trump approves of the legislation.

"I think is willing to sign the bill if it gets through Congress," said Phil Flynn, at in Surging U.S. has put the country in a better position to challenge OPEC than in previous attempts, Flynn said.

The strong dollar, which was on track for its best week in six months, also weighed on oil.

Supply cuts lent some support to prices. OPEC kingpin reduced its output in January by about 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 10.24 million bpd, OPEC sources said on Thursday.

Another risk to supply comes from after the implementation of U.S. sanctions against the OPEC member's petroleum industry in late January. Analysts expect this move to knock out 300,000 to 500,000 bpd of exports.

said on Friday its largest oilfield, which has been out of action since December, would remain offline until security had been restored.

(Additional reporting by in London and Henning Gloystein in Singapore; Editing by Chris Reese)

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

First Published: Fri, February 08 2019. 23:56 IST