Ecuador Sees Oil Trading Around $50 a Barrel for Rest of 2016


QUITO, June 8 (Reuters) - Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa predicted on Wednesday that the global oil price would hover around $50 a barrel for the rest of 2016, though he said that would not be enough to relieve the financial strain on the smallest OPEC nation.

"It's reasonable to expect the prices to stay close to $50 until the end of the year," Correa told reporters at a briefing.

A global oil price collapse since mid-2014 has hurt Ecuador's finances, raising its debt and forcing cuts in investment.

Correa said the recent oil price rally would bring only partial relief to his country. "In Ecuador's case ... $50 or $60 will still be a cheap barrel because of our production costs," he said.

Crude futures rose for a third consecutive day on Wednesday, hitting 2016 highs above $50 a barrel on supply outages led by the sabotage of oil facilities in Nigeria, before paring gains as glut concerns resurfaced after U.S. data showed a surprise build in gasoline supplies.

(Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Paul Simao)


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