Oil prices steady near year-and-a-half lows ahead of New Year


29 Dec, 2018 9:24 am

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.

Crude prices were pushed higher by a rally in the US equities market on Friday, markets participants said. Oil prices have tracked closely with Wall Street, and both asset classes saw volatile sessions throughout the week.

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.




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