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Tickers in this Article: UUP, UNG, BP, XOM, CVX
As global investors got around to the business of fretting about last weekend's European election news, oil extended its losing streak to five days. At the hands of a trading day that was decidedly risk off in tenor until late in the session, NYMEX-traded crude for June delivery dropped $1.94, or 2%, to $96 per barrel. In London, Brent crude for June delivery fell $1.88, or 1.7%, to $111.28 per barrel. A stronger dollar didn't help matters for oil as the PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish (NYSE: UUP) added half a percent on the day. While international investors seem to be coping with news that France's new president, Francois Hollande, is a socialist, Greece was the real driver behind today's glum market action. Many investors view Greece's new regime as borderline communist in nature and that may hasten Greece's departure from the Euro Zone.

Greece's possible Euro Zone exit has been speculated on for months and it ultimately might prove to be a positive catalyst for global equities and oil prices as one of the weakest links would be removed from the Euro Zone equation. Until that happens, however, markets will be held hostage by the seemingly never-ending flow of bad news out of Greece.

Natural gas prices got a lift after the U.S. Energy Information Administration cut its 2012-production outlook for the commodity to increase of 2.9 billion cubic feet per day, or 4.4%, to 69.14 billion cubic feet per day. That's below an April forecast of 69.22 billion cubic feet per day.

Demand is expected to climb to 3.4 Bcfd, or 5.1%, from 2011 to 70.17 Bcf daily. EIA's previous estimate showed total demand in 2012 averaging 69.6 Bcfd, Upstream Online reported. That news sent the U.S. Natural Gas Fund (NYSE: UNG) higher by almost 4.7% on volume that was about 35% above the daily average. UNG popped above its 50-day moving average for the first time since July 2011.

Other energy-related equities were not as fortunate. Shares of BP (NYSE: BP), Europe's second-largest oil company, tumbled more than 2% after Barclays lowered its rating on the stock to underweight from equal-weight. Shares of BP have lost almost 5% in the past week and the stock could be in for more downside, due to a weak chart that shows a violation of critical support at $42 a few days ago.

Despite a late-day rally in U.S. equities, the Dow Jones Industrial Average extended its losing streak to five days and showed only five components in the green. Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron (NYSE: CVX) were not among them as the two largest U.S. oil companies each lost about half a percent on the day.

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