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Crude oil prices fell on Thursday as worries over the unresolved US budget crisis pressured prices. Brent fell $0.27/bbl to settle at $110.80/bbl, while WTI slipped $0.11/bbl to settle at $90.87/bbl.
 
US stocks ended Thursday lower for the fourth day but recovered most of their losses after the House of Representatives said it would come back to work on avoiding the “fiscal cliff” this weekend. The Dow slipped 18.28 pts, or 0.14 pct, to 13,096.31 at the close. The S&P 500 dipped 1.73 poinst, or 0.12 pct, to finish at 1,418.10. The Nasdaq dropped 4.25 of a point, or 0.14 pct, to close at 2,985.91. In Europe, concerns that the US may fail to reach a deal over its budget crisis weighed on European shares. The FTSEurofirst 300 closed almost flat at 1,131.60 pts. The EuroSTOXX 50 added 0.4 pct,  higher at 2,659.95 points. The euro rose as high as $1.3284 and last traded 0.1 pct higher at $1.3235.
 
US lawmakers on Thursday have set up a late session in Congress a day before tax hikes are due to kick in on January 1st, giving them the possibility of a last-minute solution to avert the “fiscal cliff”. Congressional leaders are also expected to hold talks with President Barak Obama on Friday. Meanwhile, the two political parties remained apart over plans to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans to help close the US budget deficit. “Hopefully, there is still time for an agreement of some kind that saves the taxpayers from a wholly, wholly preventable economic crisis,” Mitch McConnel, the top Republican in the Democratic-controlled Senate said on Thursday.
 
The official news agency WAM of the United Arab Emirates reported that security forces have arrested a cell of UAE and Saudi Arabian citizens which was planning to carry out militant attacks in both countries and other states. WAM also said those arrested had acquired materials and equipment for us in “terrorist operations”.  This year, the UAE has detained more than 60 local Islamists this year over alleged threats to state security and links to a foreign group.
 
The Al-Zuweitina Oil port, responsible for exporting 60,000-70,000 bpd of oil in eastern Libya, have resumed operations on Thursday after local government officials managed to persuade protestors, which have occupied the port for four days to leave. No details were given on whether an actual agreement was reached. On Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Awad al-Barassi held a press conference to denounce the continuing disruptions at oil installation saying the government would do more to protect them, but did not provide details on how.

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