Oil ending year on bullish note

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Crude oil prices edged higher over the weekend and finished a holiday-shortened week near a three-month peak, after a report showed a bigger-than-expected decline in U.S. stores of crude and its byproducts.

Brent crude dded 24 cents, or  0.4per cent  at $68.16 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe, following a 1.1per cent gain in the prior session. That contract expires Dec. 30. The March contract which is currently the most active, added 11 cents, or 0.2per cent, at $66.87 a barrel.

For the week, Brent’s February contract climbed 3.7per cent, while March Brent rose 2.6per cent in the week to date.

Both Brent oil and WTI have risen for four consecutive weeks.

Rising oil prices is good for Nigeria, Africa’s top oil exporter. Her 2020 N10.59 trillion budget passed into law earlier in the month by the National Assembly assumes oil production of 2.18 million barrels a day (bpd) and an oil price benchmark of $57 per barrel.

West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) for February delivery U.S. benchmark grade, rose 4 cents, or less than 0.1per cent to end at $61.72 a barrel in up-and-down trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The slight gains, however, helped the most-active contract hold around its highest price since Sept. 16, according to Dow Jones Market Data, with a weekly gain of about 2.1per cent.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that U.S. crude supplies fell by 5.467 million barrels for the week ended Dec. 20. Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts had forecast a decrease of 3 million barrels, although the less closely followed American Petroleum Institute report showed a 7.9 million-barrel tumble late early last week, according to sources.

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