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Brent Crude Gives Up Gains to Trade Near $108 a Barrel

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Brent crude oil slipped, giving up earlier gains to trade near $108 a barrel in London.

Oil futures were buoyed in part earlier today after the Federal Reserve reported Dec. 14 that industrial output in the U.S. climbed by the most in two years in November.

Brent for February settlement traded 16 cents lower at $108.02 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at 9:06 a.m., after gaining as much as 32 cents earlier. The January contract settled $1.24 higher at $109.15 when it expired Dec. 14.

West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery was at $86.76 a barrel, up 3 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The February WTI grade was trading at a $20.66 discount to the same-month Brent contract, down from a $22.42 gap on Dec. 14, when the front months were both January.

Money managers lowered net-long positions, or wagers on higher WTI crude prices, by 21 percent in the seven days ended Dec. 11, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Dec. 14 Commitments of Traders report. It was the biggest drop since the week ended May 8. ICE will report trader commitment data for Brent and gasoil futures later today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Grant Smith in London at gsmith52@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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