Crude prices declined to $79 a barrel today on disappointing economic data and predictions of low heating demand in the US.

For February delivery, US crude fell by 37¢ to $79.02 a barrel at 7:28am GMT, following this week’s trend of falling prices, according to Reuters.

London Brent crude for the new front-month March contract fell by 67¢ to $77.90.

In a bid to curb speculation, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission declared a proposal to cap the size of positions that dealers can hold, which will be applicable to the four most-traded energy contracts on the NYMEX and ICE exchanges.

The curbs may have a significant impact on oil prices.