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Oil dips to near $103 on European concerns

Crude has slid from $110 last month amid investor worries that economic growth in the U.S. and China, the world's two largest oil consumers, may slow more than previously expected.

By CHRIS KAHN
The Associated Press

4/23/2012

NEW YORK — The price of oil dropped Monday on fresh concerns about Europe's economy.

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude gave up 77 cents to end at $103.11 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, which sets the price for oil imported into the U.S., lost 5 cents to finish at $118.71 per barrel in London.

Prices declined after the European Union reported that government debts have risen despite aggressive attempts to slash spending. Separately, a survey of the euro zone's manufacturing and services sectors unexpectedly fell in April.

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This can have ripple effects in the global economy. It could cut sales for companies that export to Europe, and it may make it tougher for international banks to lend money. Industrial production in China, a major exporter to Europe, slowed down in March, and it appears to be falling again this month, according to preliminary data released Monday by HSBC, a London-based investment firm.

Crude has slid from $110 last month amid investor worries that economic growth in the U.S. and China, the world's two largest oil consumers, may slow more than previously expected.

In other energy trading, gasoline futures added less than a penny Monday to $3.1505 per gallon, but they're still down about 8 percent from their peak in March. Heating oil lost 1.51 cents to $3.1225 per gallon and natural gas futures added 7.3 cents to $2 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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

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