U.S. oil futures pared much of their early Friday gains to finish the session modestly higher, down more than 8% for the week. At the end of what has been a “brutal” week for crude oil, with prices on course for the worst start to the year since the 1990’s, “we’ve seen a modest stabilization in prices in the past couple of days,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK. “The early year weakness appears to be driven by concern that demand is likely to be weak over the first part of the year, and a warning from the [International Monetary Fund] that a third of the global economy could fall into recession during 2023.” The U.S. benchmark WTI crude for February delivery
rose 10 cents, or 0.1%, to settle at $73.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices for the front-month contract lost 8.1% for the week, according to Dow Jones Market Data.