TOKYO, April 17 Crude oil futures fell slightly
in quiet trading on Monday, after a three-day Easter break, as
investors digested a third consecutive weekly gain in prices
along with North Korea's failed missile launch on Sunday.
Benchmark Brent crude futures were down 18 cents
55.71 at 0047 GMT. On Thursday, before the break closed most
major markets, they settled up 3 cents at $55.89 a barrel.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were also
down 18 cents at $53. They rose 7 cents to $53.18 a barrel on
Both benchmarks closed out the Easter holiday eve higher for
a third consecutive week, with Brent adding 1.2 percent over the
four days and WTI up 1.8 percent.
The subdued start to this week came as markets braced for
more geopolitical tensions over North Korea, after its attempted
launch on Sunday of a ballistic missile failed as the projectile
blew up almost immediately.
The United States is working with allies and China on
responses to the failed test, U.S. President Donald Trump's
national security adviser said on Sunday.
Crude traders and investors in Asia also had their first
chance to assess a 13th consecutive increase in the rig count by
drillers of U.S. shale oil.
Energy services firm Baker Hughes said on Thursday that
drillers added 11 oil rigs in the week to April 13, bringing the
total count up to 683.
(Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)