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Oil falls as relief over US debt deal fades

NEW YORK — The price of oil nearly fell below $100 a barrel for the first time in more than three months Thursday as relief faded over a US deal to avoid a default on its debts.

Benchmark crude for November delivery slid as low as $100.03 before recovering a bit to close with a loss of $1.62, or 1.6 percent, to $100.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil last traded below $100 a barrel on July 3.

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Oil gained more than $1 a day earlier, driven by optimism over the eleventh-hour deal reached by leaders in Congress. The rally lost momentum, however, as investors assessed the impact of the 16-day partial government shutdown on the economy and worried that the deal only postpones the debt problem.

At the gas pump, the average price for a gallon of gasoline stayed at $3.36. That’s 15 cents lower than a month ago, and 40 cents cheaper than at this time last year.

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