MTECHTIPS;-Crude oil futures decline ahead of U.S. fiscal cliff deadline

Crude oil futures were lower during early U.S. morning trade on Monday, amid reduced hopes that U.S. lawmakers can come to an agreement to resolve the “fiscal cliff” impasse just hours before the year-end deadline.On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in February traded at USD90.14 a barrel during early U.S. morning trade, down 0.7% on the day.New York-traded oil prices fell by as much as 0.85% earlier in the session to hit a daily low of USD90.05 a barrel. Trading was expected to remain subdued, with year-end positioning driving flows and as holidays in many countries limit activity.Market players remained focused on developments surrounding the fiscal cliff in the U.S., approximately USD600 billion in automatic tax hikes and spending cuts due to come into effect on January 1.U.S. President Barack Obama met with congressional leaders at the White House Friday afternoon, but both sides failed to reach an agreement ahead of the looming year-end deadline. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Senate would resume sitting on Monday to continue discussions, but there were still significant differences between the two sides.




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