Oil prices steady near year-and-a-half lows ahead of New Year
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices steadied on Friday after a week of volatile trading ahead of the New Year holiday, supported by a rise in US equity markets but pressured by worries about a global glut of crude.
Brent crude LCOc1 futures rose 4 cents to settle at $52.20 a barrel, off the session high of $53.80 a barrel.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures rose 72 cents to settle at $45.33 a barrel, after earlier reaching $46.22 a barrel.
Both benchmarks posted third straight weekly declines, with Brent losing about 3 percent and WTI nearly 0.4 percent.
Oil prices fell to their lowest in a year and a half earlier this week and are down more than 20 percent for 2018, depressed in part by rising supply.
US crude inventories USOILC=ECI were down by 46,000 barrels in the week to Dec. 21, the Energy Information Administration said, a smaller draw than the 2.9 million barrels analysts polled by Reuters had expected.