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Oil Futures Hit 6 Month Low

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Crude-oil futures ended at a fresh six-month low on Wednesday, with a boost from a decline in supplies proved short-lived.

Crude oil for delivery in September fell 46 cents, or 0.5%, to end at $96.92 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was futures’s lowest settlement since Feb. 3.

September Brent crude on London’s ICE Futures exchange also turned lower, off 2 cents to end at $104.59 a barrel.

Nymex crude has been down for nine of the past 12 sessions. It had turned higher after the weekly supply report.

Crude-oil supplies fell 1.8 million barrels in the week ended Aug. 1, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Gasoline inventories were down by 4.4 million barrels while distillates stockpiles decreased by 1.8 million barrels, the EIA said.

Analysts polled by Platts had expected crude oil stocks to decline 1.9 million barrels. Gasoline supplies were seen down 700,000 barrels, and distillate supplies were expected to add 1.1 million barrels.

Nymex reformulated gasoline blendstock for September rose 2.4 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $2.7397 a gallon on Wednesday, while September heating oil gained nearly 3 cents to end at $2.8761.

Natural gas for September delivery gained 3.6 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $3.9330 per million British thermal units.

The EIA reports natural gas supply levels on Thursday. Analysts at UBS expect an increase between 80 billion cubic feet and 90 bcf for the week ended Aug. 1.

Source: www.marketwatch.com