U.S. crude steady above $51 on spending cut due to weak oil prices

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SEOUL (Feb 13): U.S. crude futures held above $51 a barrel on Friday, after it jumped on the previous session as news of deeper industry spending cuts and a sinking U.S. dollar revived buying.

FUNDAMENTALS

* U.S. March crude futures dipped a cent at $51.20 a barrel as of 0027 GMT. It rose $2.37 or 4.85 percent to settle at $51.21 on Thursday.

* Expiring March Brent futures rose $2.39, or 4.37 percent to settle at $57.05 a barrel on the previous session.

* French energy company Total will cut investment and jobs this year and accelerate its asset sales programme after taking a $6.5 billion writedown in the fourth quarter because of weak oil prices.

* Apache Corp, one of the top U.S. shale oil producers, said on Thursday it would slash capital expenditures and its rig count in 2015, in response to the collapse of crude oil prices.

* The head of Royal Dutch Shell expects global oil supplies to fall behind demand growth as the recent halving of crude prices forces companies to cut production. And expected oil prices to remain volatile in 2015 as the market struggles to find a balance.

* Oil volatility has jumped to the highest level since the financial crisis, jolting traders who had been adjusting to a period of predictable declines following a near 60 percent crude crash between June and January. Since the start of February, trading volumes have almost doubled as prices have risen - and fallen - by as much as 9 percent in a single session.