Oil prices settle higher on Middle East tensions

HOUSTON, Jan 5 (Reuters) – Oil prices settled higher on Friday as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken began a week-long sweep through the Middle East in an attempt to contain regional tensions stoked by the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Brent crude futures settled up $1.17, or 1.51%, at $78.76 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures finished up $1.62, or 2.24%, at $73.81.

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