Recession fears raise crude questions

Weak economic conditions and market turbulence have raised questions about how oil demand will hold up in 2008.

Equity market volatility and fears of a US recession were a stern test of the oil markets last month, with front-month crude at the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) falling from a January 2 high of $100.05/barrel to $88/bbl by the end of the month.

Much of the sell-off was attributed to investors closing out of profitable oil positions to shore up losses elsewhere. From the middle to

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