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Crude Oil Futures Snap 7-day Winning Streak, Settle Sharply Lower

Crude oil futures settled lower on Friday, after a 7-session winning streak, but still posted a strong gain for the week and the month.

Oil prices dropped, due largely to profit taking after recent gains.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for February ended down $1.78 or about 2.3% at $75.21 a barrel.

Crude oil futures climbed 1.9% in the week. In the October - December quarter, WTI futures gained 0.3%, and added 13.7% in the year.

Oil futures climbed as much as 55% in the year, the sharpest annual rise since 2016.

Brent crude futures were down $1.68 or 2.1% at $77.85 a barrel a little while ago.

Brent crude futures gained about 11% in December, and posted a gain of 51% in the year.

Traders continued to closely follow the updates on the virus fron. Coronavirus cases surged to record highs around the world despite the imposition of lockdowns and travel restrictions by several governments.

U.S. health experts warned Americans to prepare for severe disruptions in the first weeks of 2002 amid increased holiday travel, New Year celebrations and school reopenings following winter breaks.

Traders also looked ahead to the upcoming OPEC+ meeting, scheduled to take place on January 4. The oil producing alliance will decide whether to continue increasing output in February.

On Thursday, Saudi King Salman called on all major oil prducers to stock with OPEC+'s output caps and recommendations in order to ensure market stability.

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