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West Texas Intermediate crude retreated from a two-month high on speculation that prices climbed more than justified last week.
dropped as much as 0.5 percent in
WTI for February delivery fell 36 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $98.96 a barrel at 9:17 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 28 cents to $99.32 on Dec. 20, the highest close since Oct. 18. The volume of all futures traded was 70 percent below the 100-day average. Prices have advanced 7.8 percent this year.
Brent crude for February settlement slipped 3 cents to $111.74 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The volume of all futures traded was 65 percent lower than the 100-day average. The European benchmark traded at a $12.78 premium to WTI, compared with $12.64 on Dec. 20.
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