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Crude Oil Declines in New York on Outlook for Slowing Demand

Oil fell in New York on concern the economic expansion in the U.S. is slowing and as the International Energy Agency said it’s prepared to release more stockpiles to stabilize prices.

Futures dropped as much as 0.7 percent before reports this week that may show U.S. consumer spending climbed at the slowest pace in almost a year and manufacturing cooled. Greek lawmakers will vote on a five-year austerity plan that must pass for the cash-strapped nation to secure more international aid. The IEA, adviser to 28 nations, will act again if needed, Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka said in Beijing on June 25.

“Leading into the IEA’s decision to release stockpiles, we had a global economy that was slowing and we already had concerns over Greece,” said Jonathan Barratt, managing director of Commodity Broking Services Pty in Sydney. The IEA’s move suggests “there is more urgency for lower oil prices than the market thought,” he said.

Crude oil for August delivery declined as much as 65 cents to $90.51 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and was at $90.77 at 8:14 a.m. Singapore time. Prices rose 14 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $91.16 on June 24, and are up 16 percent the past year.

Brent oil for August delivery was at $105.16 a barrel, up 4 cents, on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract fell $2.14, or 2 percent, to $105.12 a barrel on June 24, the lowest close since Feb. 18.

Hedge funds cut bullish bets on oil to the lowest level in more than six months. The funds and other large speculators reduced wagers on rising prices by 14 percent in the week ended June 21, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders report. Bullish bets have dropped 46 percent from a March 8 record amid disappointing U.S. economic reports on employment and housing.

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