Consensus emerging for OPEC, non-OPEC to extend output pact: Saudi governor

In the week ending 28 April, crude inventories fell by 4.2 million barrels to 528.3 million barrels, against the analyst expectation of a drop by 2.3 million barrels.

The FTSE 100 was set to open slightly down on Friday morning, according to futures trading.

ENERGY SHARES: Oil company stocks led declines. "The Fed will raise the federal funds rate again in mid-June as the economy is approaching full employment", said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial in Pittsburgh. Some countries, including the US, actually increased production levels. Russia, one of the non-OPEC countries to sign up to the cuts, has signaled that Moscow is ready to extend the production cut agreement with the oil cartel. Member nations of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are due to discuss the deal later this month.

Adding to concerns about bulging inventories, traders pointed to soaring USA oil output, which is up more than 10% since mid-2016 to 9.3 million bpd, nearly matching output of top producers Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.

It is great to see this article about how elevated volumes of waterborne crude flows are causing Malaysia's oil shipping lines to become clogged - it vindicates us at the good ship Clipper for consistently highlighting how Asian floating storage has not been tanking, while others have said to the contrary.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 rose 0.69 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe.MIWD00000PUS gained 0.36 percent after touching a record high.


ASIA'S DAY: Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng index lost 0.8 percent to close at 24,476.35 while the Shanghai Composite index in mainland China shed 0.8 percent to 3,103.04.

Oil prices slumped to five-month lows Thursday, dragging on the already slumping The United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO), which tracks West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures, and the United States Brent Oil Fund (NYSEArca: BNO), which tracks Brent crude oil futures.

Nymex reformulated gasoline blendstock-the benchmark gasoline contract-fell 0.4% to $1.52 a gallon. Japan and South Korea remain closed for the spring holiday. He said traders saw $45 as an important level because the Saudi oil minister said earlier this week that prices would be kept in the $45-55 range.

"At some point, the market should recognize OPEC isn't the most important player in the market any more", said Commerzbank's Eugen Weinberg, "That is non-OPEC, and, above all, USA shale".

The U.S. dollar hit its lowest level in roughly six months against the euro at $1.0999.

In currencies, the Australian dollar has been hit hard, falling almost 0.5% against the U.S. dollar in the past 24 hours.

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