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September 24, 2017

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Oil prices dip on poor demand outlook

LONDON--World oil prices weakened on Wednesday, as the gloomy demand outlook overshadowed concerns about heightened tensions in the crude-rich Middle East region, traders said.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in November slid 63 cents to US$113.87 a barrel in late morning trade in London.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for November, dropped 77 cents to US$91.62 a barrel.

Crude futures had rallied by about US$3 on Tuesday, with Brent oil striking a three-week high point on heightened concerns that the Syrian conflict could spread to Turkey.

However, traders shifted their focus on Wednesday back to stubborn demand fears after the International Monetary Fund slashed its economic growth forecasts.

"It seems that gains were short-lived as crude oil prices reversed on Wednesday and gave back recent gains, tracking losses across the equity markets amid global growth concerns that currently weigh on most commodity markets," said analyst Myrto Sokou at the Sucden Financial Research brokerage.

"Recent solid U.S. economic data provide some initial relief to the markets, but the global economic prospects remain fairly weak and uncertain with potential for a serious slowdown in the oil demand."

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