Energy issues are mostly weaker before the bell, as oil prices fell and the dollar gained ground. Strikes by energy industry workers in France are affecting power supply in the country, with refineries held by Total SA ( TOT ), among others, facing lower crude processing rates and power outages. The unions said that eight of the 12 refineries in France are on strike to protest against pension reform. TNK-BP Holding OAO said that discussions with BP plc ( BP ) about buying its assets in Algeria were going slower than talks about buying BP's assets in Vietnam and Venezuela. TNK-BP is a 50-50 joint venture between BP and Russian business executives. Any governmental delays in Cairn Energy plc's (CNE) plans to sell a stake in its the Indian unit of Vedanta Resrouces plc (VED) will draw fewer international bids, Cairn Energy's CEO Bill Gammell said. Brent crude is down 0.3% at $83.50 a barrel on NYMEX.
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