- Associated Press - Friday, March 2, 2012

NEW YORK — Oil prices fell below $107 a barrel Friday after Saudi Arabia denied an Iranian media report of a Saudi pipeline explosion.

Benchmark oil for April delivery was down $2.21, or 2 percent, to $106.63 a barrel in midday trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Crude jumped to $110.55 late Thursday after an unconfirmed Iranian media report of a pipeline explosion in Saudi Arabia. Saudi officials denied the report.

Oil prices have risen from $96 last month amid fears that conflict over Iran’s nuclear program could trigger a disruption in global crude supplies. Signs of an improving U.S. economy have also bolstered investor optimism and crude prices.

Renewed concerns over Europe’s economy lingered and U.S. stock indexes were slightly down in morning trading.

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