The U.S. oil benchmark settled sharply higher Friday, though it still finished the month with a big loss. WTI crude for March delivery settled up by $3.71, or 8.3%, at $48.24 a barrel. The U.S. oil benchmark gained 5.8% for the week, leaving it down 9.4% for the month after earlier showing a double-digit percentage decline for January. Analysts said factors behind oil's advance on Friday included news of a big drop in U.S. rig counts as producers respond to oversupply, as well as short covering on the last day of the month. Read a full story here.
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