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Crude Oil Prices - Weekly Outlook: Feb. 4 - 8

Investing.com - Oil traders will continue to monitor global crude supplies and the outlook for energy demand in the week

Investing.com - Oil traders will continue to monitor global crude supplies and the outlook for energy demand in the week ahead.

Futures rallied around 3% on Friday on signs that U.S. sanctions on Venezuelan exports have helped tighten supply, while upbeat U.S. jobs data strengthened expectations for higher fuel demand.

Data showing a weekly fall in the U.S. rig count also contributed to gains. Drillers cut 15 oil rigs in the week to Feb. 1, bringing the total count down to 847, the lowest since May 2018, according to energy services firm Baker Hughes.

It was the fourth time in the past five weeks that U.S. energy firms had reduced the rig count, implying a potential slowdown in domestic production activity.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude ended Friday's session up $1.47, or 2.7%, at $55.26 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. WTI earlier rose to its best level since Nov. 21 at $55.66.

For the week, the U.S. benchmark rose about 2.9%, its fourth weekly gain in the past five weeks.

Meanwhile, international Brent crude on the ICE (NYSE:ICE) Futures Europe exchange rallied $1.91, or around 3.2%, to settle at $62.75 a barrel. It rose 1.8% for the week.

After ending 2018 in freefall, oil prices have gained roughly 15% since the start of the year.

Overall, the recent advance for the energy complex has been powered by evidence of a decline in global output.

Saudi Arabia-led OPEC and its non-member allies led by Russia agreed to collectively cut production by a total of 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) during the first six months of 2019 in an effort to stave off a global glut in supplies.

Venezuela is likely to stay in the headlines in the coming week, after the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Venezuelan state-owned oil firm PDVSA, keeping tankers stuck at ports.

Fresh data on U.S. commercial crude inventories and production activity will also capture the market's attention this week.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of the main events likely to affect the oil market.

Tuesday, Feb. 5

The American Petroleum Institute is to publish its weekly update on U.S. oil supplies.

Wednesday, Feb. 6

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its weekly report on oil stockpiles.

Friday, Feb. 8

Baker Hughes will release weekly data on the U.S. oil rig count.

-- Reuters contributed to this report