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Crude oil prices fall due to US manufacturing, fiscal cliff woes

SINGAPORE--Crude prices fell in Asia Tuesday after data showed U.S. manufacturing activity contracted last month, while dealers grow concerned at the lack of progress on a deal to avert the fiscal cliff.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in January fell 27 cents to US$88.82 a barrel in the afternoon and Brent North Sea crude for January shed 26 cents to US$110.66.

“On the energy markets, oil continued to edge down on the disappointing” U.S. data, IG Markets said in a report.

“Last night traders suffered the double whammy of weak U.S. economic data combined with another impasse in budget talks as Democrats rejected the latest Republican proposal.”

The U.S. Institute for Supply Management said Monday that manufacturing activity in the world's largest economy and oil consumer contracted in November following two straight months of gains.

The reading was also the lowest level of activity since July 2009.

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