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Sector Update: Energy Stocks Finish with Large Weekly Advance as Brent Crude Oil Nears $120 Per Barrel

Energy stocks were higher this afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index rising 1.1% while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF (XLE) was up 1.7%. The Philadelphia Oil-Service Sector index was posting a 2% gain and the Dow Jones US Utilities Index was climbing 1.2%.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil settled $0.98 higher at $115.07 per barrel while North Sea Brent crude was advancing $1.83 to $119.23 per barrel. Henry Hub natural gas futures dropped $0.17 to $8.73 per 1 million BTU.

In company news, Ranger Oil (ROCC) rose 5.8% on Friday following an S&P Global Ratings upgrade of the energy producer, with the issuer credit rating rising to 'B' with a stable outlook and the debt rating of its senior unsecured debt to climbing to 'B+' from 'B' previously.

Eni (E) closed 1% lower after the Italian energy major approved a new stock buyback program expecting to repurchase at least 1.1 billion euros ($1.18 billion) of its outstanding share.

Tenaris (TS) also gained 1.4% after an Italian court dismissed criminal proceedings launched against CEO Paolo Rocca and other board members at the pipeline manufacturer over alleged improper payments.