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IEA lowers its outlook for oil demand on unsteady growth

PARIS -- Unsteady global economic growth is holding down oil demand and prices despite worries about conflict in key regions, the IEA said on Tuesday lowering its demand forecasts.

Some of these conflict factors, which could be expected to raise tension and prices on the oil market, might even work in the opposite direction, the agency said.

Tit-for-tat trade sanctions affecting Russia over the crisis in eastern Ukraine could end up depressing growth of the Russian economy and demand for oil, the IEA said.

The IEA, the oil policy arm of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, cut back its forecast for the growth of demand of oil this year.

It said this was because consumption in the second quarter was weak and because the International Monetary Fund had lowered its forecast for global economic growth this year by 0.3 percentage points to 3.4 percent.

Lower economic growth means an easing of demand for energy, including oil, and the IEA also lowered its forecast for oil demand in 2015.

But a central thrust of its report was that, so far, potential risks for the oil market from conflict and tension in Iraq, over Gaza, in Libya, and over Russia and eastern Ukraine was being more than countered by unspectacular growth of the global economy.

This was containing demand for oil and was bearing down on prices.

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