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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery lost 74 cents to $86.61 on the New York Merc, while Brent for March lost 62 cents to $89.34 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $12.65 to WTI, up from a discount of $12.90. Natural gas for March added 24 cents to $4.28. The TSX energy index added 2.56 points to close at 190.15.
Oil prices had another erratic day. In intraday trading both yesterday and today, Brent touched a seven-year high above $90 (U.S.), but ultimately could not hold its ground there, as markets weighed Russia-Ukraine tensions against a rising U.S. dollar. Geopolitical tensions typically boost oil prices by raising the threat of supply disruptions. Yet the U.S. dollar is currently perched near a five-week high in the wake of yesterday's Federal Reserve statement that it might hike interest rates "soon" (perhaps as soon as March) to fight inflation. The greenback and oil prices tend to have an inverse relationship, as a higher U.S. dollar makes oil more expensive (and thus less appealing) in other currencies.
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