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Stocks Follow Oil Lower on Reserve Talks

A man refuels his car as gas prices are reflected into the windows of the United Oil gas station in Los Angeles, California March 24, 2012.  REUTERS/Bret Hartman

Reuters - by Rodrigo Campos - March 28, 2012

(Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Wednesday as the U.S. and some European governments mulled the release of strategic oil reserves, while commodity-related shares weighed on global equities.

U.S. stocks closed weaker, though far from the day's lows, in the wake of economic data that was slightly below expectations.

France, the United States and Britain are in talks about the possible release of strategic oil stocks to help push fuel prices lower, French ministers said, only weeks ahead of the country's presidential election. Purchasing power is among voters' top concerns.

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Reuters - by Patricia Zengerle - March 27, 2012

(Reuters) - More than two-thirds of Americans disapprove of the way President Barack Obama is handling high gasoline prices, although most do not blame him for them, according to a Reuters/Ipsos online poll released on Tuesday.

Sixty-eight percent disapprove and 24 percent approve of how Obama is responding to price increases that have become one of the biggest issues in the 2012 presidential campaign.

In the past month, U.S. fuel prices have jumped about $0.30 per gallon to about $3.90 and the Republicans seeking to replace the Democrat in the November 6 election have seized upon the issue to attack his energy policies.

The disapproval reaches across party lines, potentially spelling trouble for Obama in the election, although the online survey showed voters hold oil companies or foreign countries more accountable than politicians for the price spike.

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