Washington Post

Oil prices fell to near $89 a barrel Friday as doubts intensified over whether political leaders in Washington would be able to reach a deal on the budget before a package of tax hikes and spending cuts automatically kicks in with the new year.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude for February delivery was down $1.08 to $89.05 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 15 cents to end at $90.13 per barrel Thursday on the Nymex.

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