Oil prices are falling after consecutive gains

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Oil prices fell in quiet trading after a three-day gain but received support from Saudi Arabia’s suspension of crude transportation through an important shipping corridor, a drop in US inventories and a decline in trade tensions between Washington and Europe.
Brent futures fell 5 cents to $ 74.49 a barrel by 0319 GMT after rising 0.8 percent on Thursday.

The contracts are heading for a 2 percent gain this week, the first increase in four weeks.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 5 cents to $ 69.56 a barrel after rising 0.5 percent in the previous session.

The contract is set to record a weekly loss of 1.3 percent in a fourth straight decline.

Saudi Arabia said on Thursday it would temporarily suspend shipments of oil transported through the Bab al-Mandab Strait in the Red Sea following an attack by the Iranian Houthi militia in Yemen.

Any closure of the Bab al-Mandab strait between the coast of Yemen and Africa on the southern tip of the Red Sea would stop the shipments, which pass through the Suez Canal and the Sumid pipeline linking the Red Sea to the Mediterranean.

US President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker struck a surprise deal Wednesday, ending the risk of an immediate trade war between the two sides.

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