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Oil prices slip amid fears over global economic growth

TOKYO (Reuters) – Oil prices fell on Friday, with U.S. crude heading for a seventh weekly decline amid increasing concerns about slowing global economic growth that could hit demand for petroleum products as inventories build.

FILE PHOTO: A pump jack operates at a well site leased by Devon Energy Production Company near Guthrie, Oklahoma September 15, 2015. REUTERS/Nick Oxford/File Photo

Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were down 3 cents at $71.40 a barrel by 00229 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 dropped 1 cent to $65.45 a barrel.

Brent is heading for a 2 percent decline this week, a third consecutive weekly drop. WTI is on track for a seventh week of losses, with a fall of more than 3 percent.

Data on Wednesday showing a large build in U.S. inventories fostered fears about the outlook for fuel demand, while crude was also pressured by broader selling of industrial commodities and by the Turkish financial crisis.

“Investors remain cautious as Wednesday’s surprise gain in U.S. stockpiles remained fresh in their minds,” ANZ said in a note.

China and the United States have implemented several rounds of trade tariffs and threatened further duties on exports worth hundreds of billions of dollars, which could knock global economic growth.

At the same time, the crisis gripping the Turkish lira has rattled emerging markets and reverberated across equities, bonds and raw materials.

U.S. data on Wednesday showed crude output C-OUT-T-EIA rose by 100,000 barrels per day to 10.9 million bpd in the week ending Aug. 10.

Crude inventories C-STK-T-EIA increased by 6.8 million barrels, representing the largest weekly rise since March last year. [EIA/S]

Asian demand is showing signs of slowdown as trade disputes and a stronger dollar drag the economies of some of the world’s largest oil buyers.

Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Joseph Radford

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