Also tugging the energy commodity down were U.S. political leaders' differing methods of crafting a budget plan. President Mario Draghi with the European Central Bank said the institution he leads forecasts the regional economy will shrink 0.5 percent this year, which is worse than the forecast of 0.4 percent issued about three months ago.
"The reduction of the ECB growth forecast and Draghi's statements that economic weakness may be extended are adding to worries about the European situation," partner John Kilduff with energy-focused hedge fund Again Capital in New York told the news source on Thursday. "Concern about the fiscal cliff and what next year portends for energy demand have been in the forefront of investors' minds the last week."
At 12:25 p.m. on Thursday, WTI crude oil futures fell 2.14 percent, a $1.88 loss to $86 per barrel. Brent crude oil futures fell 1.56 percent, a $1.70 loss to $107.11 per barrel.
NASDAQ reports losses for the energy commodity also were linked with increases to gasoline inventories in the U.S., the globe's top consumer of oil.
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