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    Oil and Gas Futures Fall

    As summer ends, prices on the futures market mark a seasonal low.

    NEW YORK -- Even as Labor Day travel was underway, crude oil prices fell to a seasonal low Monday as the summer driving season closed and tensions with Iran over nuclear research eased, reported Bloomberg News.

    For October delivery, crude oil fell $1.17 on Monday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, totaling $68.02 a barrel in electronic trading.

    Gasoline futures prices also dropped, with October contracts losing 3.44 cents to $1.70 a gallon. The average retail price fell to $2.74 a gallon this weekend according to AAA reports.

    Since the record high of $77.03 a barrel on July 14, oil prices have fallen more than 11 percent. The spike was based on concerns of disrupted supplies due to Middle East fighting between Israel and Hezbollah.

    The drop in prices can be attributed in part to easing Middle East tensions between Iran and the United Nations, reported The New York Times. Since the deadline for Iran to stop enriching uranium passed without sanctions being imposed, Iran is now looking for a negotiated solutions with Western demands, according to UN security general Kofi Annan. This indicates that disputes could be resolved without restricting exports, reported Bloomberg News.

    In the past, gasoline use has risen 5 percent during the summer season, then drops after the Labor Day weekend, according to Bloomberg News.

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