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Crude prices retreat on weak energy consumption outlook
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Crude futures retreated Tuesday after the US government forecast the world economic slowdown would shrink global oil consumption.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its monthly energy outlook it expected global oil demand to fall by 50, 000 barrels per day in 2008 and 450,000 barrels in 2009. If the projections prove true, it would mark the first time in three decades that world crude consumption declined in consecutive years.

The EIA also projected oil prices to average 51 dollars a barrel in 2009.

Light, sweet crude for January delivery fell US$1.64, or 3.75 percent, to settle at 42.07 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In London, January Brent crude fell 1.89 dollars to US$41.53 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

(Xinhua News Agency December 10, 2008)

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