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North American oil prices fell below $44 US a barrel on Monday, hurt by reports of China's economic slowdown and a high U.S. dollar.

West Texas Intermediate oil, the benchmark North American contract, was down by 43 cents to $43.87 US a barrel on Monday at the close. Brent, the international contract traded in London, fell 17 cents to $47.25 US a barrel.

Oil prices have been in decline for the last four trading days, after a strong U.S. jobs report and comments by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen pointed to a strong likelihood of a rate increase by the U.S. this year.

The U.S. dollar...

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