Crude oil gained in Asia on Monday as investors saw the supply picture slightly tighter on U.S. rig count data last week. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in November rose 0.22% to $45.64 a barrel. In the week ahead, investors will be focusing on Wednesday’s minutes of the Fed’s September meeting, when the central bank decided to delay hiking rates. Central bank meetings in Japan, Australia and the U.K. will also be closely watched. On Monday, markets in China are to remain closed for a national holiday. Last week, crude oil futures rallied to one-week highs on Friday after data showing that the number of working U.S. oil rigs fell to a five-year low last week, alleviating concerns about oversupply. On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, the November Brent contract was up 1.04% to $48.19 a barrel in late trade. Oil-field-services provider Baker Hughes (NYSE:NYSE:BHI) said the number of working rigs fell by 26 to 614 for the week ending on Sept. 25, the lowest total since August 2010. Nearly a year ago at this time, the U.S. oil rig count peaked at 1,609. The data added to the view that the shale oil production boom in the U.S. is slowing as a result of a historic rout in oil prices. Earlier in the week the U.S. Energy Information Administration said U.S. production was down 0.4% from the previous week at 9.1 million barrels a day. The rig count report helped oil recover from earlier losses after a disappointing U.S. jobs report weighed on the demand outlook.
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