2004 ends with volatile oil prices

Energy prices remained volatile in normally thin trading volumes between Christmas and New Year holidays at the close of 2004.Still, said analysts in the Houston offices of Raymond James & Associates Inc., "It is no exaggeration to say that 2004 was an excellent year for the energy sector's fundamentals—one of the best ever, for the second consecutive year. A robust global economic expansion created a favorable demand environment, while supply of both crude oil and natural gas remained generally tight. This led to a substantial—and, we believe, fully sustainable—upward move in commodity prices."In a Jan. 3 report, they predicted another banner year for the energy ind...

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