US oil ends multi-week rally, hit by drop in heating oil

Oil prices fell on Friday, as the fierce U.S. winter weather that has supported heating fuel demand gave way to milder temperatures, triggering a sell-off in diesel.

Temperatures in the U.S. Northeast reached into the 50s Fahrenheit on Friday after a multi-month cold snap reduced stockpiles of heating oil to the lowest level in a decade. New York diesel futures fell nearly 3 percent, while crude oil prices dropped by around $1 a barrel.

Domestic conflicts in Libya and South Sudan, as well as escalating protests in Venezuela supported Brent earlier in the week, but by Friday traders priced in the supply risk and took profit before the weekend, analysts said.

Jim Seida | NBC News

for April fell 50 cents to under $110 a barrel, having hit a seven-week high of $110.82 on Wednesday.

U.S. crude futures for April delivery fell 60 cents to settle at $102.20. The U.S. benchmark still notched a sixth straight weekly rise as a new pipeline drained supplies from West Texas Intermediate's (WTI) delivery point at Cushing, Oklahoma.

U.S. crude was also pressured by disappointing U.S. home sales, which fell to an 18-month low in January, and Brent was weighed by signs Iran increased January crude oil exports to China and India.

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