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Oil prices down after report shows euro nations' unemployment at highest level since 1999

The price of oil fell below $93 Wednesday after unemployment in the countries that use the euro rose to its highest level since the single currency was founded.

Benchmark oil for February delivery was down 19 cents to $92.96 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 4 cents to finish at $93.15 a barrel in New York.

Unemployment in the 17 euro countries rose to 11.8 percent in November from 11.7 percent in October, a reflection of a weak economy and the highest jobless rate since the euro was founded in 1999. Germany, the region's biggest economy, said industrial orders fell more than expected in November due to weaker foreign demand. German exports also fell.

"The outlook for global commodities is likely to remain uncertain in the next twelve months with low growth hampering demand especially in Europe," Michael Hewson of CMC Markets said in an email commentary.

Oil traders will be monitoring fresh information this week on U.S. supplies of crude and refined products.

Data for the week ended Jan. 4 is expected to show a rise of 1.5 million barrels for crude oil and an increase of 2.6 million barrels in gasoline stocks, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos. The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration releases its crude inventories report later Wednesday.

Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, fell 12 cents to $111.82 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange:

— Wholesale gasoline fell 2.3 cents to $2.772 a gallon.

— Heating oil fell 0.3 cents to $3.056 a gallon.

— Natural gas fell 2.6 cents to $3.192 per 1,000 cubic feet.