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(Updates with comments from conference call and additional background) HOUSTON (Dow Jones)--Halliburton Co.'s (HAL) second-quarter earnings fell 48% on weak demand and lower prices, particularly in North America, where drilling activity has declined.

But relatively strong margins in international markets such as Asia and the Middle East brought in higher earnings than most analysts expected, bumping the Houston oil services giant's share price by 0.72% to $21.53.

Oil-and-gas producers are slashing spending on oil field services as commodity prices have slumped and demand wanes.

Halliburton and other companies began offering contracts tied to ...
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