Crude Oil Prices Drop as Traders Take Profits

Crude Oil Prices Drop as Traders Take Profits© Reuters. register moderate losses in profit-taking

.com – Oil prices registered moderate losses in profit-taking on Wednesday as investors pulled the plug after six consecutive days of losses and looked ahead to weekly data.

The February contract fell 31 cents, or 0.52%, to $59.66 a barrel by 9:45AM ET (14:45GMT) Wednesday.

Elsewhere, for March delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London traded down 43 cents, or 0.65%, to $66.03 a barrel.

Prior to Wednesday’s trading, the U.S. benchmark had rallied around 4.7% in the prior six days and was up about 2.4% this week alone. Despite the current moderate losses, WTI oil is still pocketing gains of about 2% so far this week.

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News on Tuesday that an Islamist militant group had been accused of attacking a Libyan oil pipeline was enough to spur the best one-day rally in black gold since in the string of six sessions of gains, outweighing any concerns of the impending return of production at the Britain’s largest Forties pipeline.

Meanwhile, Baker Hughes’ data revealed last Friday that the number of U.S. rigs drilling for oil had remained stable at , perhaps putting a pause on considerations of whether American shale production would upset OPEC plans to curb production in 2018.

Later on Wednesday, traders will focus on U.S. demand and supply as the American Petroleum Institute is scheduled to publish its , followed by the official U.S. government data on Thursday, amid expectations for a draw of about .

The reports are released one day later than normal this week due to the Christmas holiday.

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