IRAQ-OIL/WESTQURNA

U.S. Crude Jumps on Options Expiry

Features Reuters

U.S. and Brent crude futures rallied sharply on Wednesday, with U.S. crude up more than $3 a barrel, a day ahead of the Brent February contract's expiration and on the day that options for the U.S. contract expire, brokers and traders said.

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Other analysts pointed to the dollar's weakness against a basket of currencies.

Brent February crude was up $2 at $48.59 a barrel at 2:36 p.m. EST (1936 GMT), having reached $49.21 per barrel. U.S. February crude was up $2.33 at $48.22 a barrel, after settling at $48.48 and having reached $48.91.

(Reporting by Robert Gibbons; Editing by Chris Reese)