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Oil falls below US$72 per barrel

BENCHMARK crude for July delivery fell 64 cents to settle at US$72.04 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the first time oil prices have fallen in several days.

In other Nymex trading, gasoline for July delivery fell 2.18 cents to settle at US$2.0431 a gallon and heating oil dropped 1.59 cents to settle at US$1.8375. Natural gas for July delivery slid 7.6 cents to settle at US$3.857 per 1,000 cubic feet.

In London, Brent prices fell 87 cents to settle at US$70.92 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

Still, oil prices have more than doubled since March even though demand is down for the year and American storage tanks are bloated with a huge surplus.

Crude hit new eight-month highs this week, peaking Thursday at US$73.23 a barrel.

Yesterday, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries dropped its daily demand forecast by 230,000 barrels, estimating that global consumption would shrink to 83.8 million barrels a day.


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