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Crude Oil On Cusp Of $60 After EIA

Crude oil prices continued to rise Thursday, touching fresh 2-year highs after another drop in U.S. oil inventories.

The EIA said inventories had gone down by 4.6 million barrels last week, confirming yesterday's report from the American Petroleum Institute.

West Texas Intermediate oil for February ended up 20 cents, or 0.3%, at $59.84/bbl.

In economic news, Chicago-area business activity unexpectedly expanded at a faster rate in the month of December, MNI Indicators revealed in a report on Thursday.

MNI Indicators said its Chicago business barometer climbed to 67.6 in December from 63.9 in November, with a reading above 50 indicating growth.

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