Oil, briefly up on lower rig counts, falls on US output outlook

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LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices fell on Monday on expectations that U.S. output will rise this year, erasing earlier gains buoyed by lower weekly U.S. rig counts and falling U.S. unemployment.

Brent crude futures were at $64.93 per barrel at 1233 GMT, down 56 cents from their previous close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 52 cents to $61.52 a barrel.

Helping the dip, hedge funds and money managers cut their bullish wagers on U.S. crude oil for the first time in three weeks, data showed on Friday.

The reduction came as gross short positions on the New York Mercantile Exchange climbed to their highest level in nearly a month.

“Rising production and inventory in the United States has been reducing fund sentiment since it peaked at the end of January,” ING said in a note.

Crude prices had risen on Friday and earlier on Monday after the U.S. economy added the biggest number of jobs in more than…

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