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mixed oil prices; WTI gains after strong growth in the US



TOKYO (Reuters) – Oil prices were mixed on Monday, with WTI picking up on strong US growth numbers, while Brent declined the week after the first weekly rise in four weeks.

An oil pump is seen at sunset outside Vaudoy-en-Brie near Paris, France on April 23, 2018. REUTERS / Christian Hartmann

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures rose 22 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $ 68.91

a barrel, up 0058 GMT. WTI fell 1.3 percent on Friday, marking a fourth week of declines.

Brent crude futures fell 11 cents, or 0.2 percent, to 74.18 barrels, after rising 1.7 percent weekly last week, the first rise in four weeks.

In the second quarter, the US economy grew fastest in nearly four years as consumers boosted spending and farmers sent soybeans to China to retaliate against tariffs before they came into force in early July.

However, the picture was clouded by data released on Friday showing that US energy companies added three rigs in the week-end to July 27, the first time in the past three weeks that drilling companies were increasing their activity.

Hedge funds reduced their bullish US crude operations to their lowest level in nearly a month for the second week in a row. Data also showed on Friday as oil prices fluctuated due to trading and geopolitical risks.

The speculator group reduced its combined futures and options positions in New York and London by 11,362 contracts to 412,289 in the week ending July 24, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission said. This was the lowest level since the end of June, the data showed 2.4 percent.

Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Edited by Richard Pullin

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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