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Oil flat near $84 in Asia amid Greece crisis

23 April, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR: Oil prices were flat Friday in Asia amid fears that Greece`s debt crisis will hurt economic recovery and energy demand.

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Benchmark crude for June delivery was up 1 cent to $83.71 a barrel at midday Kuala Lumpur time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 2 cents to settle at $83.70 on Thursday.

Greece`s problems deepened Thursday when Europe`s statistics agency found the country`s budget deficit last year was larger than previously thought, raising its borrowing costs. Moody`s Investor Services downgraded Greece`s debt and said more downgrades could be coming.

"There is a lot of uncertainty about the situation in Greece. The crisis could be contagious and could impact the whole euro zone and eventually the world," said Clarence Chu, a trader with market maker Hudson Capital Energy in Singapore.

Greece`s debt crisis has undermined confidence in Europe`s shared currency, the euro, and raised the troubling possibility that other weak European economies such as Spain and Portugal may also need to be bailed out.

In other Nymex trading in May contracts, heating oil fell 0.38 cent to $2.2112 a gallon and gasoline shed 0.22 cent to $2.2995 a gallon. Natural gas dipped 0.9 cent to $4.119 per 1,000 cubic feet.


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