U.S. benchmark oil futures settled higher on Thursday, but still finished the month with a roughly 18% gain. “Crude prices sharply reversed gains after profit taking took effect as oil was headed for its biggest January gain on record,” said Edward Moya, market analyst at Oanda. “The market for the most part expected West Texas Intermediate crude to average around $60 a barrel in 2019 and the January rally may have gotten out of hand.” March West Texas Intermediate oil CLH9, -0.68% fell by 44 cents, or 0.8%, to settle at $53.79 a barrel after trading as high as $55.37.
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