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Gasoline Falls as Oil Drops on Concern European Economy Slowing

Gasoline declined to a three-week low after crude oil reversed earlier gains on concern that economic growth in Europe will slow.

Futures fell to the lowest level since Nov. 25 as oil sank after Fitch Ratings lowered France’s outlook and put nations including Spain and Italy on review for downgrade. Exports from the euro region slipped 1.9 percent in October from a month earlier, the European Union’s statistics office said today.

“Gasoline is following crude prices,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston. “People’s attention has returned to the European situation and any tensions in the Middle East that might impact supplies.”

Gasoline for January delivery fell 0.07 cent to settle at $2.487 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are up 1.4 percent this year, after gaining as much as 41 percent through April.

Prices also declined as France’s statistics office said the country’s economy will shrink during this quarter and in the first quarter of 2012.

January crude declined 34 cents to settle at $93.53 a barrel on the Nymex.

January-delivery heating oil fell 2.2 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $2.8005 a gallon. Prices are up 10 percent this year.

Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, fell 0.9 cent to $3.25 a gallon yesterday, according to AAA data. Retail prices have increased 8.9 percent in 2011.

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