Oil prices edge up on global trade optimism


New York, Jan 1 (IANS) Oil prices advanced amid positive signs of global trade prospects.

The West Texas Intermediate for February delivery gained 0.08 US dollar to settle at 45.41 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Monday, while Brent crude for March delivery increased 0.59 dollar to close at 53.80 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange, Xinhua reported.

Both oil benchmarks were down more than a third this quarter, the steepest decline since the fourth quarter of 2014.

For the year, U.S. crude has lost almost 25 percent, while Brent is off by nearly 20 percent.

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