NEW YORK, Sept 19 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil and Brent traded in opposite directions on Friday as a sell-off ahead of Monday's expiration kept U.S. prices down, while discussions of OPEC cutting output put strength into the market overseas.
With the two crudes trading lower in the morning, analysts and traders said much of the sell off in the WTI contract was a result of liquidation of long positions before the expiration on Monday.
However, Brent saw a number of rallies through the day, pushing the arbitrage between the two grades to $6.74 <CL-LCO1=R>, the widest since Sept. 8.
U.S. crude fell 66 cents to settle at $92.41 a barrel while Brent rose 69 cents to settle at $98.39 a barrel.
"I think overall talk about OPEC cutting back production is giving some strength on Brent. The cuts are inevitable but who and how," said Carl Larry, chief executive officer of consultancy Oil Outlooks in Houston, Texas. "On the U.S. side, WTI has been under pressure because people are moving into maintenance season."
Money flowing into equities and away from commodities also caused some choppy trading in the day, analysts said.
Renewed strength in the U.S. dollar against major currencies pressured oil. The dollar index was on track for its tenth straight week of gains. The euro also reached a 14-month low against the U.S. dollar.
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