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Morning Market Roundup: So ... Sequester?

(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Here’s what’s shaking. Let’s see how that dreaded sequester has affected markets:


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U.S. stock futures are following a sell-off in China after it put into place new measures to slow a white-hot housing market.

Dow Jones industrial futures fell 20 points to 14,054 Monday. The broader S&P futures have lost 1.7 points to 1,514.80. Nasdaq futures are down 7 points to 2,741.75.

China announced taxes on housing profits that will weigh on overall housing prices.

The U.S. is already seeing major industries affected by the debt crisis in Europe and a cooling economy in China, the world's second largest economy, would be felt here.

Huh. Nothing on sequestration.


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The price of oil hovered below $91 a barrel on Monday, a notable dip from last month's figures.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for April delivery was up 6 cents to $90.74 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, the contract fell $1.37 to close at $90.68 a barrel on the Nymex, its lowest close this year. Earlier on Monday, it slipped as low as $90.09 before recovering.

While a month ago the Nymex contract was close to exceeding $100 a barrel, analysts said prices could continue to slide.

"Looking at oil market fundamentals, the demand for crude, due to elevated maintenance activity at refineries, will stay near or at seasonal lows for the coming weeks, which would, in the short-term, favor an extension to the downside," said a report from JBC Energy in Vienna.

"The biggest risks to the upside stem from the geopolitical side as well as the remote possibility that a move to new all-time highs in the main U.S. equity indices could spark a broader speculative rally."

Speculative investors have been reducing positions betting on rising prices, also weighing on prices.

Brent crude, used to price many kinds of oil imported by U.S. refineries, was up 13 cents to $110.53 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.


Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

The AP contributed to this report. Featured image courtesy Getty Images.

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