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Crude oil futures end higher on Friday

Crude oil futures ended higher on Friday supported by supply concerns tied to Venezuela. A dramatic escalation in tensions has raised fears that the US could impose sanctions on Venezuelan oil, threatening to complicate the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) job of balancing global oil supplies. A defiant Maduro called home all Venezuelan diplomats from the US and closed its embassy, a day after ordering all US diplomats out of the country by the weekend. However, gains remain capped on account of hefty weekly rise in US crude supplies. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that domestic crude supplies climbed by 8 million barrels for the week ended January 18, a two-month high. That was contrary to expectations for a fall of 600,000 barrels.

Benchmark crude oil futures for March gained 56 cents or 1.1 percent to settle $53.69 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while March Brent crude rose 55 cents or 0.9 percent to settle at $61.64 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.

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