By Jessica Resnick-Ault
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Friday, extending losses as JP Morgan cut its crude price forecast, after already weakening on concerns about surging U.S. output weighed and falling demand in China.
Brent crude futures fell $1.04 to $76.30 a barrel by 11:10 a.m. EDT [1510 GMT]. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures recovered some earlier losses to trade 61 cents lower at $65.33. For the week, U.S. crude was set to fall 0.2 percent, while Brent was set to fall 0.6 percent.
Crude prices were down slightly earlier in the session after data suggested Chinese demand was waning and concerns lingered about growing U.S. output.
May shipments were 39.05 million tonnes, or 9.2 million barrels per day (bpd). That compared with 9.6 million bpd in April.
Further weighing on prices has been rising U.S. output, which hit another record last week at 10.8 million bpd. At 1 p.m. GE's Baker Hughes division will release its weekly rig count report, which indicates whether oil drilling is expected to grow further in coming weeks.
The surge in U.S. production has pulled down WTI into a discount versus Brent of more than $11 a barrel, its steepest since 2015.
MARKET STILL TIGHT
Despite Friday's decline, Brent remains more than 15 percent above its level at the start of the year.
U.S. investment bank Jefferies said the crude market is tight and spare capacity could dwindle to 2 percent of demand in the second half of 2018, its lowest level since at least 1984.
Markets have been tightened by supply trouble in Venezuela, where state-owned oil company PDVSA is struggling to clear a backlog of about 24 million barrels of crude waiting to be shipped to customers.
More generally, Brent has been pushed up by the voluntary production cuts put in place last year, led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia.
OPEC and Russia meet on June 22/23 to discuss production policy.
"I think it is going to be very choppy," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)