Oil futures end lower as a rise in U.S. supplies, fall in demand expectations pressure prices

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Oil futures settled with a loss on Thursday, pressured by an unexpected weekly climb in U.S. crude inventories and lower demand expectations on the back of ongoing COVID-19 concerns. Prices had traded higher for much of the session on expectations that a potential vaccine for the virus will ease demand worries and OPEC may take action to extend output cuts. Investors and analysts were “eager to jump on the breakout bandwagon — betting that crude oil is breaking out of its recent range following news of the vaccine released this week,” said Rebecca Babin, senior energy trader at CIBC Private Wealth Management. “At this point, the crude market seems to be pricing in an optimistic outcome from both the supply and demand perspective and risk/reward looks skewed to the downside in the near term.” December West Texas Intermediate crude fell 33 cents, or 0.8%, to settle at $41.12 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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