Oil Futures Settle 2% Higher, Scores Slight Gain For The Week

By Myra P. Saefong Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Oil futures settled higher on Friday, supported by declines in crude output among major producers. Data released Friday from Baker Hughes, however, showed a sharp weekly rise of 29 rigs actively drilling for oil, prompting prices to pare some of their earlier gains. February West Texas Intermediate crude rose $1.05, or 2%, to settle at $52.42 a barrel. The contract, which expired at the settlement, gained 0.1% for the week. March WTI crude , the new front-month contract, added $1.10, or 2.1%, to $53.22.

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