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Oil prices soften on weak global demand forecast

The tug-of-war between weak demand, economic fragility and geopolitical tension in the Middle East shaped oil prices throughout October

In London, ICE Brent futures fluctuated within a fairly narrow $7/b range, averaging around $110/b, as global economic concerns weighed on prices, counteracting the effect of escalating tensions in the Middle East. The International Energy Agency (IEA) lowered its estimates for global oil demand growth to 89.7 million b/d, down by 700,000 b/d for 2012 based on sluggish economic growth forecasts. The International Monetary Fund also decreased its forecast of global economic growth to 3.3% in 2012, and 3.6% in 2013. This is down from a previous estimate of 3.5% for this year and 3.9% in 2013. The IEA maintained its 2013 oil demand outlook at 90.5m b/d. European refineries coming out of their

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