oil edges up

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    November 22, 2008
    Article from: Dow Jones Newswires
    OIL broke a five-day losing streak as a Turkish pipeline attack and the prospect of an OPEC output cut set aside demand concerns.

    Light, sweet crude for January delivery settled US51 cents, or 1 per cent, higher at $US49.93 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The January contract was in its first day trading as the front month, and was up US31 cents from the expired December futures. January Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange settled up $US1.11, or 2.3 per cent, at $US49.19 a barrel.

    Oil traded in a tight range around $US50 a barrel, with futures tipping positive at the end of pit trading following reports of an attack on the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline, a major conduit for oil between Iraq and export facilities in Turkey.

    The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries is also scheduled to meet in Cairo on November 29, where the group could implement a second production cut.

    The attack and looming OPEC meeting brought supply threats back to a market that has been singularly focused on weakening global demand for weeks. Oil prices have dropped nearly $US100 since July over recession concerns.

    "(Traders) were looking for a little bit of a reason to come in and not crush the front end (futures contracts)," said Peter Donovan, vice president at Vantage Trading in New York. "They don't even want to buy it back up or rally...you've got to start somewhere."

    Crude oil futures still ended the week down 12 per cent, despite the gains today, as the market accepted a darkening economic outlook for the coming months. Equities have led the way lower since the downturn deepened in September.

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