Crude falls $1/bbl on stronger dollar, rise in US crude stocks

24 March 2010 09:43  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Crude futures fell more than $1/bbl on Wednesday, undermined by the strengthening of the US dollar and an unexpectedly large build in US crude inventories.

At 09:05 GMT, May Brent on London’s ICE futures was trading at $79.61/bbl (€58.91/bbl), down $1.09/bbl from the previous close. Earlier, the North Sea benchmark fell to a session low of $79.54/bbl.

At the same time, May NYMEX light sweet crude futures were trading at $80.76/bbl, down $1.15/bbl from the previous close and off an intra-day low of $80.70/bbl.

The US dollar continued to strengthen against the Euro on Thursday amid ongoing worries over Greece’s debt problems. European Union leaders are expected to meet on Thursday to discuss the Greece issue.

Crude prices were pressured after industry data released on Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute (API) revealed a much larger-than-expected 7.5m bbl build in crude stocks.

Meanwhile, declines in gasoline inventories were less than expected but there was a substantial decline in distillate stocks of 2.5m bbls, which had initially helped to stabilise the market late on Tuesday.

Traders now await the release of the more widely followed official US government data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) later on Wednesday.

($1 = €0.74)

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By: James Dennis
+65 6780 4359

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