Oil Ends Steady On Small US Rig Rise; Eyes On Greece, Iran


NEW YORK, July 10 (Reuters) - Crude futures settled little changed on Friday after data showed the U.S. oil rig count barely rose this week, allaying fears of an acceleration in drilling that could bring on a surfeit of new supply to the market.

Oil had been volatile most of the session.

The market moved up after a rally in Chinese equities in Asian trading overnight and after optimism Greece may have a bailout deal by the weekend. A weak dollar also boosted crude futures.

But a slump in gasoline prices, worries about a potential Iranian nuclear deal and the International Energy Agency's (IEA) forecast of weaker oil demand eventually pulled crude lower.

Industry firm Baker Hughes said U.S. energy firms added five oil rigs this week, the second week of increases in a row, after 29 consecutive weeks of declines.

"We expect rig counts to stay at current levels for the considerable future," said Chris Jarvis, analyst at Caprock Risk Management in Frederick, Maryland.

U.S. crude futures settled down 4 cents at $52.74 a barrel. It rose more than $1 at its height and fell nearly 80 cents at its low.


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