Oil prices fell sharply Friday, steepening earlier losses to dip below $50 a barrel for the first time this month. U.S. equities turned broadly lower "on France election uncertainty and oil, being in a weak technical position, followed along," said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group. Buyers are also cautious ahead of Baker Hughes data due later in the session on the U.S. oil-rig count, he said. June WTI crude dropped $1.13, or 2.3%, to $49.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract hasn't settled below $50 since late March, FactSet data show.
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