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Dec. 16, 2021, 2:41 p.m. EST

U.S. oil prices settle at a 3-week high

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By Myra P. Saefong

Oil futures finished higher on Thursday, with U.S. prices settling at their highest in about three weeks. The mood of the market has "shifted because of clarity from the Federal Reserve," said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at The Price Futures Group. "The market was concerned that the Fed would be too aggressive and now we know where the Fed stands and that rates aren't going to rise tomorrow." Oil traders also seem "less concerned" about potential omicron-related restrictions in Europe, he said. Tensions between Russia and Ukraine are also supportive for oil, as that raises the potential for sanctions on Russia that could disrupt its energy sector, he added. January West Texas Intermediate crude rose $1.51, or 2.1%, to settle at $72.38 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest front-month contract finish since Nov. 24, according to FactSet data.

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