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Opec holds oil-demand forecast steady

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) says Europe’s debt crisis and an oversupply of crude in the market are weighing heavily on crude demand in the second half of the year.

In its latest monthly report, released on Wednesday, Opec held its world oil demand growth forecast largely unchanged at 940 000 barrels per day in 2010.

Opec says US oil demand will play a “major role” in crude consumption this year.

The bloc, which supplies almost 35% of the world’s oil, says oil’s recent price drop appears linked to Europe’s debt crisis and a cooling in China’s economic growth.

It says any improvements seen so far in world oil demand have been “overwhelmed” by increased supply and persistent worries about the stability of the world’s economic recovery. — Sapa-AP

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