October 10, 2014 / 3:57 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 12-Oil rebounds off 4-year low on short covering

* Brent had fallen near $88, lowest since December 2010

* WTI had hit low beneath $84, lowest since 2012

* Top exporter Saudi Arabia raised Sept output -OPEC (Adds settlement prices, paras 5-6)

NEW YORK, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Global oil prices rebounded on Friday, after sinking to the lowest levels in nearly four years earlier in the day, as end-of-week short-covering stalled a near four-month price rout.

Pressured by ample supply and weak economic data, Brent crude oil has dropped $25 dollars since June and on Friday fell below $90 a barrel to its lowest level since December 2010. U.S. prices have also fallen sharply.

But position squaring by traders late on Friday, ahead of the weekend, provided some support after sharp losses earlier this week.

“It looks like we oversold the downside. A lot of people are covering shorts before the weekend,” said Carl Larry, chief executive of consultancy Oil Outlooks.

Brent crude for November delivery settled up 16 cents at $90.21 a barrel after earlier falling to $88.11, the lowest since December 2010.

U.S. November crude finished up just 5 cents at $85.82 a barrel. The contract earlier hit a session low of $83.59, its lowest since July 2012.

Many remain bearish about oil prices, in part because there has been little sign that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries plans to cut production in the face of falling prices.

On Friday, Saudi Arabia said it had boosted its oil production by 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) in September, raising doubts the world’s top exporter would be prepared to take unilateral action to cut in the near future.

Oil output has also risen in OPEC members Iraq and Libya, the group said in its monthly oil market report, despite violence and instability in both countries. Total OPEC output rose by 400,000 bpd to 30.47 million bpd in September.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Rafael Ramirez said on Friday his country wants a special OPEC meeting to discuss the recent fall in crude oil prices. “

But cuts to Iran’s official selling prices for its crude have raised more doubts about OPEC’s willingness to curtail supply to try to stabilize prices, and analysts said other producers could follow suit.

“The dual combination of economic fear and ample supplies continues to pressure oil. The market just cannot find a bottom,” said Gene McGillian, analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

Disappointing economic data from Europe and Asia, has also helped push Brent off its year high of $115.71 in June. Brent was on track to record a third straight week of losses.

Global shares fell to a six-month trough early on Friday as concern about a recession in Germany deepened after sources in the ruling coalition said Europe’s largest economy would next week cut its growth forecasts for 2014 and 2015.

Also adding pressure was data due next week that was forecast to show that softer domestic demand probably slowed growth in China’s imports, investment and retail sales to multi-month or multi-year lows in September. (Reporting by Barani Krishnan, Edward McAllister in New York and Libby George in London, additional reporting by David Sheppard in London, Keith Wallis and Florence Tan in Singapore; Editing by Gunna Dickson, Peter Galloway and Tom Brown)

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