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The Associated Press June 24, 2010, 2:47PM ET

BP shares fall to new low over Gulf spill

Shares of BP dropped to a new 52-week low in the U.S. on Thursday, to levels not seen in 14 years, as the two-month-old oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico continues to weigh on the company's stock.

BP lost 96 cents, or 3.3 percent, to $28.71 in afternoon trading. The previous 52-week low of $29 came earlier this month.

Analyst Phil Weiss of Argus Research said there didn't appear to be a particular reason for Thursday's decline.

"There's still a lot of downward pressure on the shares, so, in general, I expect more down days than up days at least until the relief wells are successful or something else positive develops," he said.

Relief wells that would plug the leak in the well for good are not expected to be completed for several more weeks.

BP shares have lost over half their value, about $100 billion, since the spill began on April 20, when the Transocean drilling rig BP was leasing exploded and sank. The company's outstanding shares are worth about $90 billion at current share prices.

BP will create a $20 billion fund to handle cleanup and claims from the spill. It also has suspended its dividend for the rest of the year.


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