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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery plunged $3.33 to $76.93 on the New York Merc, while Brent for March lost $3.81 to $82.10 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $27.40 to WTI, up from a discount of $27.50. Natural gas for February lost 49 cents to $3.99, falling below $4 for the first time since last February. The TSX energy index lost 14.13 points to close at 228.87.
Oil prices tumbled into the new year, weighed down by bearish Chinese data and global recession fears. China has raised its export quotas for refined oil products, a sign of lower domestic demand as the country battles waves of COVID infections. Chinese factory activity also shrank in December at the sharpest pace in nearly three years. Meanwhile, managing director Kristalina Georgieva of the International Monetary Fund predicted that 2023 will be even "tougher" than 2022, amid simultaneous slowdowns in the world's three major economies (the United States, the European Union and China). "We expect one-third of the world economy to be in recession," she told CBS on Sunday. "Even countries that are not in recession, it would feel like recession for hundreds of millions of people."
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