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Oil declined to the lowest level in almost six weeks as U.S. equities declined and France said governments are moving closer to an agreement on a release from emergency stockpiles to curb price gains.
Futures fell as much as 2.2 percent and stocks dropped on Standard & Poor’s statement that Greece may have to restructure its debt again and as concern grew that China’s economy is slowing. French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said the prospects of an accord between the U.S. and Europe on tapping strategic reserves are good.
Crude oil for May delivery dropped to $102.96 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest level since Feb. 17. Prices are up 4.6 percent this year and set for a second quarterly gain.
Brent oil for May settlement decreased $1.34, or 1.1 percent, to $122.82 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark contract was at a premium of $19.45 to the West Texas grade. The gap was $18.75 yesterday, the widest based on closing prices in two weeks.
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