Waning risk premium, more USA production pushes oil prices lower

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Prices were also buoyed this week by a sweeping purge of top officials and businessmen in Saudi Arabia.

The price for Brent crude oil was down 0.42 percent to $63.42 per barrel as of 9:15 a.m. EST.

Several traders said prices got a boost from unconfirmed rumors that Saudi King Salman would relinquish the throne to his son Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

The benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for December delivery hit a new yearly high of US$56.64 per barrel on Friday before rising 3 percent to finish at $57.35 on Monday.

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Crude oil stockpiles recovered last week as very large drops in product stockpiles were offset by a collapse in net imports.

OPEC meets at the end of this month and has been widely expected to extend the deal.

Crude oil prices drift lower early Wednesday after Saudi Arabia's monetary authority seeks to allay investor concerns.

Crude oil futures continued to rise Thursday despite an analyst report tempering expectation for further supply cuts from OPEC.

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"With the OPEC/non-OPEC deal extension beyond March 2018 a certainty, prices may become stronger and temporarily reach the $65-$70 per barrel range in 2018", said energy consultancy FGE.

In its monthly short-term energy outlook, the agency forecast that USA crude oil output will rise by 720,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 9.95 million bpd in 2018.

China's October oil imports fell to just 7.3 million bpd from a near record-high of about 9 million bpd in September, according to data from the General Administration of Customs. That compared with the 2.9 million-barrel draw forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll and the 1.6 million-barrel decline reported late Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute.

"It doesn't matter how bullish the fundamentals are ... when an asset goes vertical there is always room for a pullback and consolidation of recent price moves", said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at brokerage AxiTrader. Texas issued 997 oil and gas drilling permits last month, up almost 17 percent versus the same month a year ago.

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