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Oil dropped, erasing earlier gains, on concern that new leadership in Italy may not contain the European debt crisis and China’s demand for crude may weaken.
West Texas Intermediate fell as much as 1.3 percent after rising earlier to $99.69 a barrel, the highest since July 26. Italy’s president offered Mario Monti, a former European Union competition commissioner, the post of prime minister yesterday. The International Monetary Fund’s Deputy Managing Director Zhu Min said yesterday the world’s second-largest economy was heading for a “soft landing” as growth slows.
The euro weakened as much as 0.8 percent to $1.3636 after Italy sold 3 billion euros ($4 billion) of five-year bonds, the maximum target, at the highest yield in more than 14 years.
Crude for December delivery was at $98.17 a barrel, down 82 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices rose 5 percent last week and have increased for six consecutive weeks, the longest run of gains since April 2009.
Brent oil for December settlement declined 83 cents to $113.33 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The more-active January contract was 59 cents lower at $112.34. December futures, which expire tomorrow, traded at a premium of $15.21 to New York crude, compared with a record $27.88 on Oct. 14. The spread narrowed 14 percent last week.
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