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Oil down slightly on worry about US fiscal cliff

The Associated Press

The price of oil is down slightly in Veterans Day trading as amid uncertainty over a looming package of tax hikes and spending cuts that could hurt U.S. economic growth.

Benchmark oil fell 16 cents Monday to $85.91 per barrel in New York.

The combination of tax increases and cuts in government spending will take effect Jan. 1 unless President Barack Obama and Congress can reach a compromise to avert it.

Meanwhile, China's export growth accelerated in October, which is another sign of improvement in the world's second-largest economy. That could help support demand for oil and other commodities.

At the pump, the national average price for gasoline fell less than a penny overnight to $3.437 per gallon. That's nearly 37 cents less than a month ago.