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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery lost $1.82 to $74.29 on the New York Merc, while Brent for February lost $2.17 to $79.04 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $26.50 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for January lost 37 cents to $6.60. The TSX energy index lost 6.51 points to close at 232.71.
Down for the day, oil prices still notched their largest weekly gain since October (though the feat was less impressive in light of the fact that last week brought the worst rout since August). Recession apprehension continued to battle with boosterish demand signs. China is continuing to unwind its harsh anti-COVID policies ahead of next month's Lunar New Year holiday. Meanwhile, the U.S. government said today that it will repurchase oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) for the first time since tapping it for 180 million barrels earlier this year. While the initial buyback is for a mere three million barrels, optimists see it as the start of a bullish trend.
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