Market watch, July 7

An American Petroleum Institute report of higher gasoline stocks overshadowed a decline in crude inventories, triggering a drop in futures market prices Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.


An American Petroleum Institute report of higher gasoline stocks overshadowed a decline in crude inventories, triggering a drop in futures market prices Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The August contract for unleaded gasoline fell 4.03� to 92.02�/gal, while home heating oil for the same month dropped 1.26� to 78.38�/gal.

The August contract for the NYMEX blend of benchmark light, sweet crudes retreated another 68� to close at $29.99/bbl. The September oil contract settled at $29.04/bbl, down 56�. But both inched back up in after-hours electronic trading to $30.24/bbl and $29.21/bbl respectively.

Even natural gas was down, despite growing demand, with the August contract losing 4.3� to $4.07/Mcf.

The API reported US gasoline stocks rose some 2.21 million bbl last week to 207.65 million bbl total, easing the supply pinch that previously contributed to driving up prices. Although crude inventories dropped by 136,000 bbl to a total 292.96 million bbl during the same period, the gasoline increase dominated trading Thursday, officials said.

Meanwhile in London, the August contract for North Sea Brent oil rebounded slightly, up 29� to close at $29.67/bbl after trading as high as $29.95/bbl during the day. The August contract for natural gas was up 8� to the equivalent of $2.78/Mcf.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' basket of seven crudes dipped 7� to $28.92/bbl Thursday.

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