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Crude oil futures end higher for eighth session in a row

Extending their gains for eighth straight session, Crude oil futures ended higher on Wednesday, on continued optimism over US-China trade talks, a December output drop from major producers, and a weekly decline in domestic inventories.  The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that domestic crude supplies fell by 1.7 million barrels for the week ended January 4.  Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's energy minister Khalid al-Falih vowed to stabilise the oil market and said the agreement between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies to cut production is already starting to show results.  OPEC oil production fell by 630,000 barrels a day to a six-month low of 32.43 million barrels in December.

Benchmark crude oil futures for February surged $2.58 or 5.2 percent to settle $52.36 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. March Brent crude rose $2.72 or 4.6 percent to settle at $61.44 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.

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