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Oil falls amid concerns about global economy

Slower growth in China, which is a huge importer of oil, has kept a lid on oil prices. Slower growth can cut demand for oil and other energy products.

By PAMELA SAMPSON
The Associated Press

10/3/2012

BANGKOK  — Oil prices fell for a second day Wednesday over concerns about economic turbulence in Europe, China and the U.S.

Benchmark oil was down 49 cents to $91.40 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract dropped 59 cents to end at $91.89 per barrel in New York on Tuesday.

Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, fell 77 cents to $110.80 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

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Investors remain concerned about Europe's ongoing financial crisis after Spain's prime minister said a request for bailout funding isn't imminent.

Slower growth in China, which is a huge importer of oil, has also kept a lid on oil prices. Slower growth can cut demand for oil and other energy products.

Worries have also intensified that the U.S. economy will fall off a "fiscal cliff" at the end of the year. That's when tax increases and deep spending cuts will take effect unless Congress reaches a budget deal. A recession could follow.

"There is downside risk in the overall market," said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney. "Oil is one of those commodities where I think demand is well-covered by current supply capacity."

In other Nymex energy futures trading:

— Natural gas 1 fell cent to $3.521 per 1,000 cubic feet. It ended at $3.531 Tuesday, a high for the year. That price was 85 percent above the low for the year of $1.91 reached in April.

— Heating oil was down 1.3 cents at $3.112 a gallon.

— Wholesale gasoline dropped 3.1 cents to $2.838 per gallon.

Kevin Jones of The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at kevinj@thetrucker.com.

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