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Oil Prices Bounce Back Above $50

Oil prices rose above $50 a barrel Friday, rebounding from a 3.5 year low as dealers sought to stock up on cheaper oil.

Oil prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose to $50.65, up from about $49 on Thursday.

Brent Crude, which trades in London and prices two-thirds of the world's crude, rose to $49.70.

Key benchmarks for crude oil are down almost two-thirds since a July high of more than $147.

Bloomberg financial news service says sales also increased on speculation that oil-producing OPEC countries will cut production levels when they meet later this month in Cairo.

Last month, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries slashed its official oil output quota by about 1.5 million barrels a day.

Some analysts say prices will continue to decline in 2009 as the economic slowdown continues.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.