Crude prices continue to lose ground, with the October contract trading at $88.75 a barrel, down $1.46, on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after a sharp drop last week in crude inventories was offset by higher-than-expected builds in gasoline and distillates.
The federal Energy Information Administration reported that crude supplies fell 6.7 million barrels, or 1.9%, to 346.4 million barrels compared with the week before. Inventories were 3.1% lower than last year. Analysts were looking for inventories to fall by 2.9 million barrels, according to Platts survey.
Gasoline inventories, however, gained 1.9 million barrels, or 0.9%, to 210.8 million barrels, while analysts had expected a 400,000-barrel decline. Distillates, which include heating oil and diesel fuel also rose by 1.7 million barrels; analysts were only looking for a 1-million-barrel gain.
The United States Oil ( USO ) exchange traded fund is at $34.46, down 39 cents or 1.12%.
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