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U.S. crude-oil benchmark closes below $90 a barrel for first time since February

Oil futures fell sharply Thursday, with the U.S. benchmark ending below the $90 a barrel threshold as investors worried about the risk of a global economic slowdown that could crimp demand. West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery ended with a loss of $2.12, or 2.3%, at $88.54 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the first finish below $90 for a most actively traded contract since Feb. 10, according to FactSet data.

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