Oil edges higher on weaker dollar after sell-off

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[March 03, 2017]  By Karolin Schaps

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices ticked higher on Friday, recouping some of the previous session's losses, as a weaker dollar encouraged buying but investors remained cautious after Russian production figures showed weak compliance with a global deal to cut output.

Global benchmark Brent was up 7 cents at $55.15 a barrel at 1252 GMT, recovering some of Thursday's losses that amounted to more than 2 percent.

WTI futures traded at $52.64 a barrel, up 3 cents on the previous close.

"The market is range bound, therefore there is nothing surprising in seeing fresh buying after a big sell-off and of course the slightly weaker dollar is also helping oil recover," said Tamas Varga, senior analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates.

The dollar slipped from a seven-week high on Friday ahead of a key speech by Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen.

A weaker greenback makes it more attractive to buy dollar-denominated currencies like oil futures.

"Because prices have failed once again to rise above their trading corridors, there is a growing risk of speculative selling," said analysts at Commerzbank, suggesting further downside potential.

Oil's gains were capped after concerns remained over non-OPEC compliance with a global deal to rein in oversupply.

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A worker walks past a pump jack on an oil field owned by Bashneft in Bashkortostan, Russia, January 28, 2015. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/File Photo

Russia's February oil output was unchanged from January at 11.11 million barrels per day (bpd), energy ministry data showed, with its cuts from October 2016 levels remaining at 100,000 bpd or a third of what was pledged by Moscow under its agreement with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Official U.S. data also showed crude inventories in the world's biggest oil consumer rose for an eighth straight week to a record 520.2 million barrels last week. [EIA/S]

But even as U.S. oil production rose and Russian output held steady, OPEC boosted already strong compliance with the group's six-month deal to 94 percent, cutting output for a second month in February, a Reuters survey found. [OPEC/O]

(Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral and Keith Wallis in Singapore, editing by David Evans)

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