Oil Steadies After Big Drop On Easing Supply Fears


NEW YORK, June 27 (Reuters) - Brent crude oil was little changed in choppy trading on Friday as investors moved to square positions following one of the international benchmark's biggest weekly falls this year due to reduced concerns over exports from strife-torn Iraq.

Prices have dropped more than $2 from a nine-month high of $115.71 hit on June 19 as output from Iraq's southern oilfields, which produce most of the nation's 3.3 million barrels per day (bpd), remained unaffected by fighting in the north and west.

"A lot of people are very long, the market's gotten a little top-heavy, and we're susceptible to a correction," said Stephen Schork, editor of The Schork Report in Villanova, Pennsylvania.

Libya's eastern oil port of Hariga completed the loading of a tanker carrying 600,000 barrels of crude oil destined for Italy on Friday after a protest by security guards ended, the port operator said, further easing supply worries on the world market.

Brent rose 9 cents to settle at $113.30 a barrel, after falling 79 cents in the previous session. It lost more than 1.3 percent this week, its steepest weekly fall since March.

U.S. crude fell 10 cents to settle at $105.74 a barrel after ending Thursday 66 cents weaker at $105.84, the lowest settlement since June 11. U.S. crude lost nearly 1.4 percent during the week, and has fallen $2 since hitting $107.73 on June 20.

The spread between the two benchmarks closed the week at $7.56 after having widened to $9.67 on June 19, when Brent hit its 9-month peak.


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