Here comes the Baker Hughes rig count ...

Baker Hughes will publish its weekly count of US oil and gas rigs just after 1 p.m. ET.

The release comes at the end of an eventful week for commodities in which oil prices fell to the lowest level since last November.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures, the US benchmark, fell below its 200-day moving average — a signal to technical traders that the upward trend may have reversed. That prompted more selling.

Additionally, oil watchers remained concerned about the high level of inventories and the resurgence of shale-oil production weeks before OPEC decides whether to extend its deal to cut production.

The oil-rig count rose by nine to 697 last week. Gas rigs increased by four to 171. With miscellaneous rigs unchanged at two, the total rig count rose by 13 to 870.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the benchmark for US prices, was up 1% to $US46.01 per barrel ahead of the data release. It was headed for a 6.75% weekly drop, its steepest since the first week of March.

More to come …

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