January crude oil prices traded higher during the initial morning hours, supported by a positive outside market tone and growing sanctions against Iran. Some traders indicated that the recent trend of improving US economic data has tamped down recession fears. The market also seems to be drafting support from increased sanctions against Iran from Europe and the US. The EIA estimates that China and India get about 11.0% of their imported crude oil from Iran, so an export ban against that country could have a far reaching impact. In early action this morning, January crude oil has been able to discount November crude oil production data out of Russia that showed the country's output at a record high level of 10.34 million barrels per day.
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