Crude oil prices edged higher in Asia on Friday as Fed signals that rates will stay on hold and moves afoot to trim output help. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, WTI crude for November delivery rose 0.23% to $49.55 a barrel. In particular, concern about China was key in the Federal Reserve’s decision to keep interest rates near zero, minutes from the last meeting released Thursday show. “Many [officials] acknowledged that recent global economic and financial developments may have increased the downside risks to economic activity somewhat,” the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee said. The relatively dovish minutes from the September meeting may bolster arguments that the FOMC could wait as long as March of next year before lift-off. Previously, it was widely believed the FOMC could raise rates either this month or when it meets in December. A rate hike is viewed as bullish for the dollar, as foreign investors pile into the greenback looking to capitalize on higher yields. Dollar-denominated commodities such as crude become more expensive for foreign purchasers when the dollar appreciates. As well, investors are looking to oil services firm Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) which last week said in its weekly rig count that U.S. oil rigs fell by 26 to 614 for the week ending on Sept. 25. It marked the fifth straight weekly decline and the sharpest drop since the week ending on April 24. With last week’s decline, the number of rigs throughout the U.S. fell to the lowest total since August, 2010. Nearly a year ago at this time, the U.S. oil rig count peaked at 1,609.