Crude heads lower in Asia on Friday with OPEC output eyed

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Crude oil prices are mixed, but headed weaker ahead of Asian trading on Friday as the market digests comments from OPEC and Saudi Arabia about slackening demand.

ICE Brent crude oil was last quoted up 0.74 percent to US$76.73, while NYMEX West Texas Intermediate eased 0.65 percent to US$66.89 a barrel. Brent settled up 0.95 percent to US$76.89 a barrel, while WTI gained 0.76 percent to US$67.33 a barrel.

OPEC on Thursday said it may have to trim oil output as global inventories rise.

An OPEC and non-OPEC ministerial panel said in the statement that cartel members “expressed concerns about rising inventories in recent weeks and also noted looming macroeconomic uncertainties which may require changing course.”

Meanwhile, Reuters reported similar remarks from a Saudi official.

“We are of the view that the market in the fourth quarter could be shifting towards an oversupply situation as evidenced by rising inventories over the past few weeks,” Saudi OPEC governor Adeeb Al-Aama told Reuters on Thursday.

Separately, Baker Hughes reports weekly oil U.S. rig count data at 1300 US EDT.