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CRUDE OIL ENDS WEEK 3 HIGHER

Oil prices rallied Friday as traders speculated President Bush might scrap diplomatic meetings with Iraq, then crude fell back sharply when Bush's news con- ference rhetoric was not so harsh.

Light sweet crude oil settled at $26.55 per barrel, up 13 cents, at the New York Mercantile Exchange on contracts for delivery in January. Crude for delivery in most later months closed lower.

For the week, crude finished 3 cents higher on January delivery contracts.

During the week, crude hit its lowest prices since Aug. 3, the day after Iraq invaded Kuwait. But after the close of $25.35 per barrel on Wednesday, it began moving higher.

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