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Oil falls as gloom pervades economic outlook

/ 01:56 PM October 01, 2012

In this photo taken July 2, 2012, early morning sunlight illuminates fuel storage tanks at a North Little Rock, Arkansas, petroleum distributorship.AP FILE PHOTO

BANGKOK – Oil prices fell in anticipation of weaker demand after two closely watched surveys underscored enduring global economic weakness.

Benchmark oil for November delivery was down 64 cents to $91.55 per barrel at midday Bangkok time to in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 34 cents to finish at $92.19 per barrel on the Nymex on Friday.

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Brent crude was down 81 cents to $111.58 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

Japan’s central bank on Monday released a survey that shows deepening pessimism over the economy among the country’s big manufacturers.

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The Bank of Japan’s quarterly “tankan” index was minus 3, a worsening from the previous quarter’s minus 1.

The survey showed pessimism over the prospects for both domestic and global demand given weak growth in China, the U.S. and Europe.

Meanwhile, a survey by the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing said its monthly index of manufacturing activity stood at 49.8 points on a 100-point scale. Numbers below 50 indicate a contraction. China’s economic growth fell to a three-year low of 7.6 percent in the quarter ending in June.

Traders are now looking to upcoming jobs data out of the U.S. for a read on the health of the world’s No. 1 economy.

“With Wednesday’s presidential debates and the approaching election, we expect all eyes will be on Friday’s non-farm payrolls data,” said oil analyst Stephen Schork in an email commentary.

In other energy futures trading:

— Heating oil fell 2.6 cents to $3.133 per gallon.

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— Wholesale gasoline fell 0. 3 cents to $2.917 per gallon.

— Natural gas rose 6.3 cents to $3.383 per thousand cubic feet.

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