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Oil falls to near $94 in Asia as Europe worries push crude down to 5-month low
SINGAPORE (AP) ' Oil prices fell to near $94 a barrel Tuesday in Asia, extending a two-week sell-off that has brought crude to a five-month low amid concern about Europe's debt crisis.
Benchmark oil for June delivery was down 44 cents to $94.34 a barrel, the lowest since December, at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.35 to settle at $94.78 in New York on Monday.
Brent crude for July delivery was down 45 cents at $110.55 per barrel in London.
Crude has sunk about 11 percent from $106 earlier this month amid signs of slowing economic activity in the world's two biggest oil consumers, the U.S. and China.
This week, traders are worrying that Greece's inability to form a government after recent elections could worsen that country's debt crisis and deep recession, and undermine confidence throughout Europe.
"Greece's struggle to form a new government has moved to center stage," energy trader and consultant Ritterbusch and Associates said in a report. "The possibility of a significant economic slowdown in European economic activity is prompting contagion fears."
Oil investors are also taking their cues from global stock markets, which have slumped so far this month. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 1 percent Monday and most Asian stock markets were down Tuesday.
In other energy trading, heating oil fell 1.2 cents to $2.92 per gallon and gasoline futures lost 0.7 cents to $2.95 per gallon. Natural gas fell 1.6 cents at $2.49 per 1,000 cubic feet.
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