| GEO Business|
| Oil falls on lower demand forecast|
| Updated at: 0029 PST, Wednesday, March 11, 2009|
COLUMBUS: Crude, gasoline and other fuel price stumbled Tuesday after the government again lowered its forecast for global energy demand and said average oil prices for this year will likely be below current levels.
Light, sweet crude for April delivery fell $1.36 to settle at $45.71 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after closing at a two-month high Monday.
In London, Brent prices fell 17 cents to settle at $43.96 on the ICE Futures exchange.
In early trading, oil looked like it would continue its winning streak that had boosted prices to nearly $50 from $33 earlier this year on comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
He told the Council on Foreign Relations that the U.S. recession could end this year if the government bail out succeeds and markets return to a more normal state.
The recession, now in its second year and already the longest in a quarter-century, has turned out to be more severe than the Fed had anticipated, he acknowledged in fielding questions after his speech.