Oil Futures Settle Lower After Four Session Climb

By Myra P. SaefongMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

Oil futures settled with a loss on Wednesday, their first in five sessions. Weekly U.S. government data showed that crude inventories fell more than expected but a monthly report from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries showed that its member output climbed in November. Shortly before oil prices settled Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve announced its first interest-rate increase in a year, which provided a lift to the ICE U.S. Dollar Index , pressuring prices for dollar-denominated oil. January West Texas Intermediate crude fell $1.94, or 3.7%, to settle at $51.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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