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LONDON : Oil prices slipped on Monday after earlier climbing above $70 a barrel for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began after attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities.

Yemen's Houthi forces fired drones and missiles at the heart of the Saudi oil industry on Sunday, including a Saudi Aramco facility at Ras Tanura vital to petroleum exports. Riyadh said there were no casualties or loss of property.

Benchmark Brent climbed as high as $71.38 a barrel in early Asian trade, its highest since Jan. 8, 2020. By 1019 GMT, it was trading down 30 cents or 0.4% at $69.06.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 22 cents or 0.3% at $65.87 after touching $67.98 a barrel, its highest since October 2018.

Brent and WTI prices have climbed for four consecutive sessions.

"There are no reports of lasting damage or disruptions to oil flows ... Today’s risk premium will soon fade," said Norbert Rucker, analyst at Swiss bank Julius Baer.

The attack follows last week's move by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and their oil producing allies, known as OPEC+, to agree on broadly sticking with output cuts despite rising crude prices.

Adding support, the US Senate approved a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, which is expected to boost fuel demand as the economy gets a lift. Economic data from the United States and China was also positive.

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