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Oil declined for a third day as China manufacturing contracted and protracted negotiations to resolve Greece’s debt crisis fanned concern that Europe’s economy will slow.
Oil fell as the preliminary January reading of a Chinese purchasing managers’ index showed the country’s manufacturing declined for a third month. Talks in Athens on debt swaps entered a third day. Prices extended losses after data showed sales of previously owned U.S. homes grew less than expected.
Crude for February delivery fell to $97.91 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract expires today. The more active March contract declined $2.13 to $98.41.
Brent oil for March settlement declined $1.37, or 1.2 percent, to $110.18 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
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