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Oil fell for a second day on concern that an economic slowdown in the U.S. and Europe will worsen and curb fuel demand.
Crude dropped as much as 3.3 percent after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke yesterday damped expectations for monetary stimulus. Spain is poised to become the fourth of the 17 euro-area countries to require emergency assistance, and German exports decreased for the first time this year.
Federal Reserve officials need to assess the risk from Europe and U.S. budget cuts before deciding on stimulus measures, Bernanke said yesterday in congressional testimony.
The news came after Fitch Ratings cut Spain’s long-term credit rating to BBB yesterday and left it two notches from junk, citing the cost of recapitalizing the country’s banking industry and a lengthening recession.
In Germany, exports adjusted for work days and seasonal changes, fell 1.7 percent in April from March, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said today, as Europe’s debt crisis and weaker global growth reduced consumption.
Oil for July delivery fell to $82.00 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are down 16 percent this year.
Brent for July settlement slid $1.94, or 1.9 percent, to $97.99 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
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