CRUDE OIL prices have fallen for the past six sessions as the threat of escalating retaliation attacks in the Middle East appear to have disappeared. Last week saw the biggest weekly drop since mid-July for West Texas Intermediate (WTI), which touched the lowest level since December 6 yesterday. Saudi Arabia has vowed to maintain stable oil markets and we are due to hear the demand outlooks for 2020 from three institutions over the next three days:China is scheduled to release its oil output data on January 17. On the US supply front, the number of US oil rigs in production fell for a third week last week, dropping to the lowest since March 2017.Speculative investors remain bullish on the prospects for oil, having increased net longs for a fifth straight week to January 7, according to the latest data from CFTC. Net longs are now at the highest since August 2018.