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Oil Prices Ease after Hitting Multi-Year Highs

Oil Prices Ease after Hitting Multi-Year Highs

Crude prices declined on Friday after reaching their highest levels since December 2014 in the prior day.

US. WTI crude futures traded at $63/62 per barrel, down 18 cents or 0.3 percent from their last settlement. THe U.S. benchmark the day before hit its strongest since late 2014 at $64.77 per barrel.

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures stood at $69.27 per barrel, almost unchanged from their last close. The international benchmark for oil also hit a December-2014 peak in the prior day, at $70.05 per barrel.

While analysts and traders issued warnings of risks of a downward price correction since the start of the year they noted that overall market conditions continue to be strong, mostly due to ongoing production cuts led by OPEC and Russia. The production cuts started in January 2017 and are set to last through this year.

Analysts also see the potential for oil prices to rally as inventories rebalance. U.S. commercial crude oil stockpiles declined almost 5 million barrels in the week to January 5, to 419.5 million barrels, slightly below the five-year average of just over 420 million barrels.

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