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February 24, 1996|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Crude Futures Drop on Prospect of Iraq Oil Deal: Crude oil futures prices fell on the New York Mercantile Exchange after U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali said he assumes Iraq's willingness to negotiate humanitarian oil sales will lead to a deal. The news, which came four days after the United Nations and Iraq recessed talks without a deal, shattered renewed confidence on the energy futures market that sent prices soaring, analysts said. Light, sweet crude for April delivery fell 79 cents to $19.06, a retreat from one of the largest price increases since the Gulf War. The United Nations calls for Iraq to sell $2 billion in oil every six months for food and medicine under tight U.N. control.

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