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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery tumbled $4.75 to $78.74 on the New York Merc, closing below $80 for the first time since January, while Brent for November lost $4.31 to $86.15 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $22.50 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for October lost 26 cents to $6.83. The TSX energy index lost 17.67 points to close at 208.72.
Oil prices notched their fourth weekly decline -- the first time this has happened since last December -- amid a broader market bloodbath, on rising fears of a global recession. New S&P Global data showed a deepening downturn in business activity across the euro zone during September. Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar hit a fresh 20-year high as other currencies tumbled (particularly the pound, against which the greenback is now at its highest level since 1985). A higher U.S. dollar makes oil more expensive in other currencies, hurting oil demand and thus pushing down prices.
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