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Oil prices cruise higher after U.S. rig-count declines

Crude oil prices rallied in Asia trade Monday on declining U.S. oil rig count and indications that major oil producers are ready to jointly tackle the prolonged low prices.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in November CLX5, +0.38% traded at $49.95 a barrel, up $0.32 in the Globex electronic session. November Brent crude LCOX5, +0.57% on London’s ICE Futures exchange rose $0.29 to $52.94 a barrel. Nymex crude last week saw the largest one-week percentage gain since the end of August, climbing 8.9%, while Brent registered a 9.4% increase.

Baker Hughes Inc. BHI, -1.55% an industry group, last week reported a decline in the active U.S. oil rig count for the fifth straight week, dropping by nine, bringing the total count to 605, the lowest since June 2010. Rig count is an important gauge of future production.

“Market confidence is up because we are hearing the same message from everywhere...