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Oil prices were marooned near five-months lows on Friday after a near 5 percent fall in the previous session on concerns over rising USA supply, wiping out all of the price gains since OPEC's move to curb output.

USA production "continues to grow hand over fist, and the market will remain well oversupplied given the lack of" refined fuel demand, he added.

Government data showed a modest decline for US crude inventories and another unexpected increase in gasoline supplies as hopes about summer gas demand are frail.

Also, the recent policy decision by the United States government towards allowing drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean will ensure that U.S. oil and gas industry will maintain strong production in the coming years and remain a shadow over whatever efforts undertaken by OPEC to push global crude oil prices.

One note of caution: There is a very strong support around $42 per barrel, so we urge our readers to closely monitor price activity around that level. "Total U.S. petroleum demand rose to nearly 19.9 mbd and the highest since March 3", he said, reports Reuters.

"I don't expect any surprises", this official said.

Reaction to the passage in the House of Representatives of a bill to repeal major parts of Obamacare and replace it with a Republican healthcare plan was muted.

-Caterpillar and Chevron led declines in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, with losses that topped 1.9 percent. "But it's going to have to be done in a measured way, or else we kill the market". Even if the bill passes the House, it could face an uphill battle in the Senate. "Obamacare is still very much alive and intact", said Ken Polcari, director of the NYSE Floor Division at O'Neil Securities in NY. The contract lost $2.30 on Thursday.

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The slide came a day after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) revealed that US crude stockpiles fell less than expected. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.1 percent to close at 2,389.52.

Beyond Sunday's vote, traders looked at the potential for the European Central Bank to signal further reduction in bond-buying.

-On the Dalian Commodity Exchange, ore for September delivery lost 7.3 percent, the maximum daily drop allowed, while in Singapore, SGX AsiaClear futures fell as much as 9.1 percent to $60.37 a ton.

But shale is on the comeback trail now, aided by technological advances and leaner business models that have allowed companies to pump profitably at far lower prices than before.

-The euro added 0.9 percent to $1.0985, while the pound gained 0.4 percent.

"With the (Strategic Petroleum Reserve) drawing, total US petroleum stocks fell 161,000 barrels".

Copper and nickel also weakened, as did iron ore futures, while the spot price (an important consideration in the Australian market) dropped 5.1% to $65.20 a dry tonne, according to Metal Bulletin Ltd.

Attention now turns to USA non-farm payrolls for March, due on Friday, after separate data showed private employers added 177,000 jobs in April.


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