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US oil rig count falls by 8 to 343: Baker Hughes

Oil prices jumped on Friday and were poised for a third week of gains as market sentiment turned more upbeat amid signs a persisting global supply glut may be easing.

Strong gasoline consumption in the United States, increasing signs of declining production around the world, and oilfield outages have underpinned a return to investment in the sector, traders said.

"The current rally is driven by a market sentiment that is becoming more and more convinced that the worst is over and the global oil market rebalancing process is already in play," said Dominick Chirichella, senior partner at the Energy Management Institute in New York.

International benchmark Brent crude futures rose 56 cents to $45.09 per barrel by 1:07 p.m. ET (1701 GMT), off a session peak of $45.90. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 58 cents at $43.76 a barrel, after rising as high as $44.45.

Brent has risen about 4.6...