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Oil near $92 on gloomy economic outlook

(AP) BANGKOK - Gloomy economic news dragged oil down to near $92 a barrel Monday in Asia.

Benchmark crude fell 77 cents to $92.12 by late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 47 cents on Friday to close at $92.89 in New York.

New efforts to revive growth from central banks in Europe, Japan and the U.S. have not been enough to overcome pessimism about the global economy's weak prospects. When economic growth slows, so does demand for fuel which typically results in lower oil prices. A reduction in energy costs can help boost economic growth further down the track.

After Asian markets closed on Friday, the U.S. Labor Department said that the unemployment rate rose in more than half of the country's states last month, the latest evidence that hiring remains tepid across the world's biggest economy. The World Trade Organization, meanwhile, cut estimates for global trade growth for this year and next.

Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, was down 88 cents at $110.54 on the ICE futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading:

  • Heating oil fell 1.8 cents to $3.10 a gallon.
  • Wholesale gasoline fell 2.5 cents to $2.795 a gallon.
  • Natural gas fell 0.3 cent to $2.882 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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