Mon, 19 Apr 2021

NEW YORK, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices settled mixed on Thursday as traders sifted through U.S. output data and comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

The West Texas Intermediate for April delivery added 31 cents to settle at 63.53 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for April delivery decreased 16 cents to close at 66.88 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

The above moves followed an upbeat previous session that saw both benchmarks jump more than 2.5 percent.

"Market participants presumably feel supported by the comments made yesterday by Fed Chair Powell during his testimony before U.S. Congress, when he raised the prospect of many more years of ultra-loose monetary policy," Eugen Weinberg, energy analyst at Commerzbank Research, said in a note on Thursday.

Elsewhere, data showed a marked reduction in U.S. output as a result of massive closures of production facilities due to the frost in Texas.

U.S. crude oil production averaged 9.7 million barrels per day (b/d) during the week ending Feb. 19, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Wednesday. The reading was 1.1 million b/d less than the previous week and down by 3.3 million b/d from this time last year.

Market participants also awaited a key meeting by major oil producers.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, widely known as OPEC+, agreed in January to keep most oil production curbs in place from February to the end of March. They are expected to discuss their future strategy next week.

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