June crude oil prices trended lower throughout the overnight and early morning hours, registering a lower low in the process. News of a Spanish debt downgrade late Thursday was seen as a negative force that put added pressure on global crude oil demand. However, some traders pointed out that the crude oil market held up considerably well given the negative news, perhaps because it was already factored into the market. The outside market tone has flattened out as the market prepares for this morning's US first-quarter GDP data. Expectations are for the rate of growth to slow from the 3.0% pace seen during the final quarter of 2011. In the meantime, the strain on global oil supplies appears to be easing, helped by the return of Libyan production and easing tensions with Iran over their nuclear program.
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