Oil futures edged down on Friday to below $40 per barrel, with the market growing increasingly sceptical that a looming deal to freeze crude production can help clear a global glut. Brent crude for June delivery LCOc1 fell 64 cents to $39.69 a barrel as of 1000 GMT. Brent rose 6 percent in the first quarter of this year, its first such increase since a 15 percent rally in the second quarter of 2015. U.S. crude CLc1 fell 64 cents to $37.70 a barrel. Prices rose almost 4 percent over January-March, also the first quarterly gain since surging nearly 25 percent in the second quarter of last year. Prices have recently pulled back on low trading volumes and concerns about oversupply ahead of an oil producers' meeting in Doha to agree a possible output freeze on April 17.
Oil futures edged up on Wednesday as worries that rising tensions in the Middle East could hit global supplies overshadowed an unexpected build in U.S. crude inventories.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures settled 24 cents higher at $62.02 per barrel. Brent crude futures rose 53 cents to $71.77 a barrel.
U.S. crude stocks rose unexpectedly last week to their highest since September 2017, while gasoline stockpiles decreased more than forecast, the Energy Information Administration said.
Crude stocks swelled by 5.4 million barrels, surprising analysts who had expected a decrease of 800,000 barrels.