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Crude oil futures settle higher for ninth session in a row

Crude oil futures ended higher for ninth straight session on Thursday, the longest winning streak in about nine years for the US benchmark. Oil prices were significantly higher for the week to date, with West Texas Intermediate (WTI) up about 9.7%. That will be the largest weekly rise since December 2016. The recent advance for the energy complex has been powered by optimism over US-China trade talk which ended Wednesday, as well as a December output drop from major producers and a more-recent decline in US crude inventories.

Benchmark crude oil futures for February gained 23 cents or 0.4 percent to settle $52.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. March Brent crude added 24 cents or 0.4 percent to settle at $61.68 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.

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