* Brent, WTI forward curves above $50/b
* Investors have increasing confidence in oil markets
* But analysts warn of financial/physical oil price divide
US oil futures held above $50 per barrel on Friday as the entire crude forward curve pushed above that level in a sign that financial markets have increasing confidence in the sector.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures settled at $50.44 per barrel on Thursday – the first settlement above $50 since June 24 – and were up 6 cents on Friday at $50.50 per barrel at 0542 GMT.
Brent futures already moved over $50 at the start of this week, and were trading at $52.57 per barrel at 0542 GMT on Friday, also up 6 cents.
With both front-month contracts above $50 per barrel and each forward curve in contango, in which contracts for future delivery are more expensive than those for immediate sale, the entire crude futures complex has moved back over $50 per barrel.
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