Oil futures declined on Friday, with U.S. prices tallying a loss of 5.9% for the week, according to Dow Jones Market Data. All of the softer U.S. economic data may have come as a relief to Federal Reserve policymakers, but “it’s weighed on crude oil, with a weaker economy meaning softer demand,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA. U.S. benchmark crude is now trading back at the level it was at before Hamas attacked Israel, while Brent still has a little way to go due to the fact that the war “hasn’t yet led to a more significant conflict in the Middle East — a hugely important region for oil output — as well as weaker economic prospects,” he said. December West Texas Intermediate crude

fell $1.95, or 2.4%, to settle at $80.51 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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