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Oil Prices Fall to Six-Week Low

Oil prices fell to a six-week low Tuesday on expectations that slower economic growth in the United States will cut demand for energy.

The price of crude oil for February delivery fell as low as $86.11 a barrel in mid-morning European trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That is a drop of nearly $4.50 from Friday's closing price in New York.

U.S. crude prices have fallen about 12 percent from a record high of $100.09 that was set on January 3. Declining oil prices may reduce pressure on the OPEC oil cartel to raise output when it meets on February 1 to review production levels.

The United States has appealed to OPEC to increase production to help reduce global energy costs. OPEC has said it will boost output only if market conditions justify such a move.