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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery lost 56 cents to $78.40 on the New York Merc, while Brent for February lost $1.00 to $82.26 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $27.50 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for February lost 15 cents to $4.56. The TSX energy index added 3.14 points to close at 241.80.
Oil prices limped lower in another thin trading session. A surge in Chinese COVID cases has led the United States, Japan, India and other countries to impose or consider imposing restrictions on Chinese travellers, prompting more jitters about demand. On the supply side, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. crude inventories rose by 718,000 barrels last week, countering analysts' predictions of a drop of 1.5 million barrels. Canada's TC Energy Corp. (TRP: $53.70) offered a glimmer of good news: It has completed a "controlled restart" of its Keystone pipeline, which is now fully operational once more. (The pipeline was shut down on Dec. 7 because of a spill in Kansas.)
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