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Brent below $ 111 ahead of last-ditch budget talks

Brent crude held below $111 per barrel yesterday, not far off its highest this month, as US lawmakers were preparing to launch a last-chance round of budget talks to stop the world’s largest oil consumer slipping back into recession.
Brent crude was down 10 cents to $ 110.70 per barrel by 1342 GMT, on course for a weekly gain of about 1.5 percent and a full-year increase of about 3 percent, which would be its smallest in four years, Reuters reported. US crude rose 17 cents to $ 91.04, set for its first yearly loss in four years.
“We now have to go again into the weekend with the “fiscal cliff” risk, and if it is not solved then crude oil could start 2013 with a correction given that it has for now dissociated itself from equities but without clear new bullish inputs,” said Olivier Jakob from Petromatrix consultancy.
Oil futures outperformed stocks this week and Dow Jones industrial average futures was down again yesterday as US President Barack Obama and congressional leaders were set to meet for the first time since November amid low expectations for a “fiscal cliff” deal before Jan. 1.

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