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updated: 10/8/2012 1:21 PM

Oil falls after strong warning from World Bank

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Associated Press

NEW YORK -- A strong warning from the World Bank that growth in Asia may slow further dragged down the price of oil Monday.

The World Bank signaled the possibility of a "more pronounced slowdown" in China, the world's second largest economy after the United States. It also cut its growth forecast for Asia. Red-hot growth in emerging markets like China and India helped boost oil consumption coming out of the global recession.

Benchmark crude fell 57 cents to $89.30 in afternoon trading in New York. The contract hasn't closed lower since Aug. 2.

At the pump, gas prices remain stubbornly high. The national average for gasoline rose 3 cents over the weekend to $3.818 a gallon. But Californians are now paying an average of $4.668 a gallon, the highest price in the nation, after a jump of 50 cents in the past week. Some motorists there are paying over $5.

In response, Gov. Jerry Brown has ordered state smog regulators to allow cheaper winter-blend gas to be sold three weeks early in the state. And Sen. Dianne Feinstein has called for a federal investigation because she doesn't think the higher prices are related to supply and demand.

Experts are predicting prices in California could climb to an average of $4.85 before coming down.

In London, Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, fell 40 cents to $111.62.

Other futures in morning trading:

Natural gas gained a penny to $3.40 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Heating oil was flat at $3.15 per gallon.

Wholesale gasoline fell 5 cents to $2.90 per gallon.

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