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Oil, gas futures recede

High prices are eroding demand

The price of oil fell to its lowest level in two months and gasoline futures fell for a fifth session yesterday as evidence builds that high prices are dampening demand.

New data from the Energy Department show that fuel consumption over the past month declined by almost three percent compared with last year. Analysts attributed the trend to soaring pump prices and a slowdown in economic activity.

Light sweet crude for November delivery fell $1.11 to settle at $62.79 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, its lowest level since the Aug. 5 close of $62.31.

Gasoline for November delivery plunged 10.79 cents, or 5.4 percent, to $1.9078 a gallon in New York, the lowest close since Sept. 16.

Heating oil futures declined more than 3 cents to $2.0148 per gallon, while unleaded gasoline futures fell almost 11 cents to $1.9078 per gallon.

Natural gas futures fell 4.1 cents to $14.183, roughly double year-ago prices.

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