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Crude Prices Settle Higher as Middle East Unrest Continues – Crude oil prices settled higher on Thursday amid ongoing unrest in the Middle East while Saudi Arabia’s plan to slash crude exports lifted sentiment.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for December delivery rose by 36 cents to settle at $57.17 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent added 47 cents to trade at $63.96 a barrel.

Saudi Arabia plans to cut its crude exports by 120,000 barrels per day in December compared with November, slashing allocations to all regions, Reuters reported Thursday, citing a energy ministry spokesman.

The reports of Saudi’s plan to reduce exports came as investor fears grew of instability in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia warned its citizens not to travel to Lebanon and urged the international community to impose fresh sanctions on Iran.

The escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran come after Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman accused Iran of “direct military aggression” by supplying Houthi rebels in Yemen with missiles, one of which was fired towards the Riyadh on Saturday.

Analysts at RBC said the recent rally in oil prices is more sustainable than previous rallies, as geopolitical risk would play an increasingly larger “needle-moving” role as the excess oil supplies continued to narrow.

Crude prices remained on track for fifth straight weekly win despite a report showing that U.S. crude supplies rose last week last week.

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