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Crude moves sideways amid subdued trading activity, Brent futures down 23 cents at $67/b

London — Crude oil futures were largely stable during European trading Friday, with Brent futures unable to break through the resistance level of $67.50/b.

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At 1105 GMT, ICE May Brent crude futures inched down 23 cent/b from Thursday's settle to $67.00/b, while the NYMEX April light sweet crude contract inched up 4 cents/b to $58.65/b.

Market sources reported rather subdued trading activities to start the day, with market participants awaiting the results of OPEC's upcoming meeting next week.

The group's Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee, which monitors compliance on output cuts, is scheduled to meet on March 18 and March 19 in Baku.

"There was not much price movement today, as prices had already risen sharply this week to a four-month high," said Eugen Weinberg, head of commodity research at Commerzbank. "The market is quite supportive, so prices should not fall sharply, but continue to trade rather sideways for the rest of the day."

"OPEC supply cuts played a significant role in rebalancing the market and getting prices to these levels. The market in now more of less balanced," Weinberg added.

In its monthly oil market report, OPEC revised down its projection for 2019 global oil demand to below 100 million b/d for the first time since it started forecasting 2019 fundamentals last July.

"Demand for OPEC plus oil was forecasted down, which creates a cut dilemma for them. At the moment there is no alternative but to extend production cuts. We will definitely see some discussing around that in Baku next week," Weinberg said.

--Kristi Rotlaender, k.rotlaender@spglobal.com

--Edited by James Leech, james.leech@spglobal.com