MTECHTIPS-Crude prices held weaker in Asia on Tuesday ahead of the Fourth of July holiday in the U.S. with markets shut and trade thin though a missile test by North Korea rattled markets.On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for August delivery fell 0.55% to $46.81 a barrel, while on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent traded down 0.56% to $49.40 a barrel. Overnight, crude futures settled higher for the eighth session in a row on Monday, as market participants continued to cheer data suggesting that U.S. output could be tightening. On Friday, Oilfield services firm Barker Hughes reported its weekly U.S. rig count fell by 2 to a total of 756, ending a six-month trend of rising U.S. rigs. The weekly rig count is an important barometer for the drilling industry and serves as a proxy for oil production and oil services demand. Investors cheered the surprise dip in the number of active U.S. drilling rigs, as fears that rising U.S. output would add to the glut in supply have remained front and center, weighing on sentiment for the first half of the year. Despite the recent rally in oil prices, analysts continue to expect that crude futures will resume their downtrend, as Opec and its allies’ are struggling to address the fundamental problem of oversupply, which has pressured prices over the last three years.“Disappointment about the slower-than-expected market re balancing will keep prices depressed well into next year,” Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank (DE:CBKG), told the WSJ.