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AP News

Oil falls below $93 on lower demand forecasts

BANGKOK (AP) — Oil fell below $93 a barrel Friday, dragged down by a combination of lukewarm forecasts for demand and sufficient supplies.

Benchmark oil for May delivery was down 58 cents to $92.93 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The contract dropped $1.13 to finish at $93.51 a barrel on Thursday after the International Energy Agency lowered its forecast for global oil demand in 2013 by 45,000 barrels to 90.6 million barrels a day. Its predictions were similar to those made earlier this week by OPEC and the U.S. Energy Department.

Brent crude, which sets the price of crude used by many U.S. refineries to make gasoline, fell 73 cents to $103.65 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London. Brent has dropped about 12 percent in the past two months amid Europe's ongoing financial crisis, increased supplies and tepid forecasts for demand.

"Concerns about European demand continue to weigh on the oil price," said Michael Hewson of CMC Markets.

"US inventories at their highest levels in years and the IEA lowering its forecasts for oil demand are pushing prices lower," he said in a commentary.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

— Heating oil fell 1.2 cents to $2.888 per gallon.

— Gasoline lost 0.5 cents to $2.835 per gallon.

— Natural gas rose 1.6 cents to $4.155 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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