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U.S. oil prices rallied abruptly at midday on Tuesday, reversing earlier losses on what traders said was a mix of profit-taking on crack spreads and positioning ahead of WTI options expiry later in the day.
WTI crude settled 2 cents higher at $55.93 per barrel, after peaking at $57.15 earlier.
The Brent crude contract for January deliver, which expires after Tuesday's close, fell $1.31 to $60 a barrel. Brent's low of the session was $58.50, a level it has not touched since June, 3, 2009, when it dipped to $58.41.
Again Capital founder John Kilduff told CNBC buyers stepped in this morning for the first time in days after WTI reached a key support level of $53.95.