Oil Futures Maintain Sharp Gains After Further Drop In Rig Count

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Oil futures maintained sharp gains Friday after data showed the number of U.S. oil rigs continued fell for a third straight week. Oil-field services firm Baker Hughes said the number of active oil rigs declined to 354 from 362 a week earlier. Compared with the same time last year, the number of rigs has fallen by 406. West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery maintained sharp gains scored ahead of the data, trading at $39.62 a barrel, a gain of $2.38, or 6.4%. The U.S. benchmark is on track for a weekly gain of more than 7.5% on signs a decline in domestic output may be accelerating amid a pickup in demand.

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