The budget dispute known as the "fiscal cliff" faced by the United States was also weighing on markets.
"If Democrats and Republicans fail to reach any agreement by year's end, automatic tax hikes and expenditure cuts worth a total of $600 billion will come into force at the beginning of 2013, which could push the US economy into recession," said a report from Commerzbank in Frankfurt.
Brent crude, which is used to set prices for many international varieties of oil, fell 64 cents to $109.26 a barrel on London's ICE Futures exchange.
In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline lost 1.36 cents at $2.682.
— Natural gas was down 4.1 cents to $3.728 per 1,000 cubic feet.
— Heating oil fell 0.78 cent to $3.0169 a gallon.
Pamela Sampson in Bangkok contributed to this report.
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