Oil slips away from 2014 highs
Oil prices on Friday slipped away from December-2014 highs reached the previous day. Although analysts and traders have been warning of the risks of a downward price correction since the start of the year, they point out that overall market conditions remain strong, largely due to ongoing production cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $63.34 a barrel at 0755 GMT, down 46 cents, or 0.7 percent, from their last settlement. WTI the day before rose to its strongest since late 2014 at $64.77. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $68.97 a barrel, down 29 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last close.
Brent also marked a December-2014 high the previous day, at $70.05 a barrel. Traders said relatively weak China December oil data had weighed on prices. China's crude oil imports in December eased to 33.7 million tonnes, or 7.97 million barrels per day, versus 37.04 million tonnes.