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BRIEFLY

October 19, 1987

Escalating tensions in the Persian Gulf sent crude oil futures prices solidly above $20 a barrel for the first time in more than two months. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, contracts for November delivery of West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark U.S. crude, closed at at $20.22 a 42-gallon barrel, up 47 cents from Thursday's close. The near-month contract had not traded above $20 since Aug. 14, when it closed at $20.57 a barrel.

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