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This Week’s Market Buzz

•    The Iran crisis has oil heading up and down. West Texas Intermediate crude oil shed 4.8% to close at $59.72 a barrel at press time. Oil was already deeply in the red after a weekly inventory report showed a surprise build of U.S. stockpiles. The prior evening the U.S. benchmark hit an overnight high of $65.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • The American Petroleum Institute reported that U.S. crude supplies fell by 7.9 million barrels for the week ended Dec. 20. As a result, West Texas Intermediate crude for February edged up 6 cents, or 0.1%, at $61.17 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. February Brent crude picked tacked on 4 cents, or less than 0.1%, to reach $66.21 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

•    At press time, oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped back after federal data showed a build in U.S. crude supply and increase in gasoline stocks. West Texas Intermediate futures were down $0.06 near $57.06 per barrel (bbl), and the Intercontinental Exchange December Brent contract traded flat at $62.38/bbl.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

•    U.S. crude futures jumped $2.33, or 4.2%, to settle at $58.43 a barrel at press time after a data report showed a much bigger-than-expected drawdown in oil inventories, ending several consecutive weeks of builds. The federal government’s EIA report revealed that crude inventories fell by 4.9 million barrels, compared to the 700,000 barrels decrease that energy analysts had expected. Heavy refining activity and lower imports were responsible for the large stockpile draw with the world's biggest oil consumer. This puts the total domestic stocks at 447.1 million barrels – 0.9% above the year-ago figure and 3% higher than the five-year average.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • Oil prices came under pressure at press time from rising U.S. crude oil stocks and weak factory activity in China, with few bullish factors on the horizon. Brent crude futures fell 40 cents to settle at $60.21 a barrel, erasing earlier gains. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 88 cents, or 1.6%, to settle at $54.18 per barrel. On the month, however, they are set for a rise of about 0.9%, its biggest monthly gain since June.

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