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Crude oil futures settle higher on Tuesday

Crude oil futures settled higher on Tuesday on account of the US Treasury's decision to impose sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil firm, Petroleos de Venezuela SA. The US Treasury sanctioned Venezuela's oil firm, raising the risk of disruptions to oil supply from the South American nation, home to the world's largest oil reserves. Venezuela's oil firm is also known as PdVSA. The sanctions will result in more than $11 billion in export losses for Venezuela over the next year. Meanwhile, trade tensions between the US and China continue to hang over energy trading, raising expectations for a slowdown in energy demand.

Benchmark crude oil futures for March surged $1.32 or 2.5 percent to settle $53.31 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. March Brent crude gained $1.39 or 2.3 percent to settle at $61.32 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.

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