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Oil prices pulled back on Friday from November lows seen in the previous session but record US stockpiles continued to weigh on the market.
West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark, gained 0.8 per cent to $49.66 a barrel after dipping below $49 a barrel for the first time since November during trading on Thursday. International benchmark Brent crude rose 0.7 per cent to $52.56 a barrel after tumbling 1.7 per cent during the previous session.
Figures released on Wednesday showed crude inventories jumped by 8.2m barrels last week, the ninth consecutive rise.