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BRIEFLY

December 19, 1987

Crude oil futures slumped in active trading after an early rally fizzled and traders dumped futures to clear their positions before the weekend. Analysts said the market remained leery that the recent plunge in crude prices, which has pushed futures to levels not seen in a year, was not yet over and that the market's failure to sustain early gains pointed to possibly heavier selling next week. The January contract for West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark U.S. crude, fell 26 cents to $15.58 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, bringing its loss for the week to $2.73.

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