Crude-oil prices declined Wednesday, ending a rough 2014 for the commodity where prices fell 46%. Crude oil for February delivery slipped 85 cents, or 1.6%, to settle at $53.27 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That's a far cry from a year ago, when the most-active contract settled at $98.42 a barrel. Wednesday prices slipped even as U.S. commercial inventories declined more than expected for the week.
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