Oil Ends  the Year on High Note

Oil Ends the Year on High Note

Oil prices settled slightly lower on Friday, the year's last trading day, but attained their biggest annual gain since 2009, after OPEC and partners agreed to cut output to reduce a supply overhang that has depressed prices for two years. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 5 cents, or 0.1%, at $53.72 a barrel, while Brent fell 3 cents, or 0.1%, to $56.82, Reuters reported. A two-rig rise in the oil rig count in the United States, the ninth weekly increase in a row, as reported by oilfield services provider Baker Hughes Inc, added to bearish sentiments. "Some profit-taking ... very light trading - a lot of people have already done what they needed to do for the year." said Elaine Levin, president of Powerhouse, an energy-specialized commodities broker in Washington. Brent rose 52% this year and WTI climbed around 45%, the largest annual gains since 2009, when the benchmarks rose 78% and 71% respectively.


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