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West Texas Intermediate crude dropped to the lowest level in almost three months as the U.S. government is poised for a shutdown that may reduce demand in the world’s largest oil-consuming country.
Futures fell as much as 1.8 percent, extending this month’s loss. Congress has a day to end a stalemate that boosts the risk the government will close. A shutdown would cut fourth-quarter U.S. expansion as much as 1.4 percentage points, economists said. WTI also slipped after President Barack Obama and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani spoke by phone on Sept. 27 the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program and the United Nations Security Council approved a plan to scrap Syria’s chemical arms.
WTI crude for November delivery decreased $1.08, or 1.1 percent, to $101.79 a barrel at 11:08 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract touched $101.05, the lowest level since July 5. The volume of all futures traded was about 23 percent below the 100-day average. Prices have slid 5.4 percent this month. They are up 5.4 percent this quarter and and 11 percent in 2013.
Brent oil for November settlement fell 46 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $108.17 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Volume was 26 percent lower than the 100-day average. The European benchmark crude was at a $6.38 premium to WTI, up from $5.76 on Sept. 27.
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