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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery plunged $3.95 to $81.64 on the New York Merc, while Brent for January lost $3.08 to $89.78, dropping below $90 for the first time since early October (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $29.07 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for December added 17 cents to $6.37. The TSX energy index lost 1.49 points to close at 262.93.
Oil prices slumped on Chinese COVID flare-ups and persistent recession fears. The Chinese government, in a commentary today in its flagship People's Daily newspaper, reiterated its commitment to COVID Zero, sparking concerns about lockdowns and reduced fuel demand. Meanwhile, JPMorgan is predicting a "mild recession" in the United States, starting in the second half of next year. It also expects the Federal Reserve to continue its aggressive interest rate hikes to try to contain inflation.
Here in Canada, energy stocks largely fell with prices. Oil sands player Cenovus Energy Inc. (CVE) lost 55 cents to $27.51 on 8.4 million shares, despite winning a nod of approval from Moody's Investors Service. The credit rating agency previously had a rating of Baa3 on Cenovus, only one step above junk territory. Now it has upgraded the rating by one notch to Baa2. Its outlook is "stable."
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