Oil Steadies on Pre-Holiday Buying, Dollar Weakness

Deep ocean oil rig FBN

Oil prices steadied on Friday early losses, with traders citing potentially more bullish investor positioning for the second half of the year and after a weaker dollar that boosted most commodities.

The market also recovered after sliding briefly on Baker Hughes's data showing the fourth weekly rise in five for the U.S. oil rig count. Producers added 11 oil rigs this week, the biggest increase since December, that signaled a near-two year rout in drilling may have ended.

Brent futures were up 4 cents at $49.75 a barrel by 1:10 p.m. EDT (1710 GMT). Brent was down 1 percent early in the session, hitting an intraday low of $49.25.

U.S. crude's West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures rose 3 cents to 48.36. WTI's session low was $47.90.

(By Barani Krishnan; Additional reporting by Karolin Schaps in LONDON and Henning Gloystein in SINGAPORE; Editing by William Hardy and Marguerita Choy)