U.S. oil futures settled with a loss on Friday, following five consecutive session gains, but prices settled higher for the week, as well as the month. “The U.S. economy is firing on all cylinders, with good news in every direction,” said Manish Raj, chief financial officer at Velandera Energy. “Improvements in the labor market, the housing market and consumer sentiments have solidified the demand recovery picture” for oil. Traders also await the outcome of a meeting on Tuesday of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies, who will assess the latest oil-market conditions and decide on production levels. “We believe that OPEC+ will reaffirm its production hike next week, as demand fundamentals have only improved since the previous alliance meeting,” said Raj. West Texas Intermediate oil for July delivery declined by 53 cents, or 0.8%, to settle at $66.32 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Front-month contract prices gained more than 4% for the week, as well as the month, FactSet data show.
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