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Tuesday 02nd of December 2008
July 6, 2006

Crude oil prices drop as US gasoline stockpiles grow


by Elaine Frei

Crude oil prices dropped on Thursday after Wednesday’s gains, which were driven by worries over the situations in Iran and North Korea. Brent crude for August delivery was down 44 cents to $73.54 per barrel on the International Petroleum Exchange in London, while by mid-session West Texas Intermediate crude had dropped by 69 cents to $74.50 per barrel. Nymex unleaded gasoline for August delivery was down by 3.28 cents to $2.2430 per gallon.

US crude oil stockpiles were down 2.4 million barrels in the week ending June 30, more than the 1.9 million barrel decline that was expected. Gasoline inventories, on the other hand, were up by 700,000 barrels for the week in the face of an expected drop of 1.1 million barrels. The increase in gasoline stockpiles was driven by higher imports and a drop in refinery capacity used to 93.1 percent, an expected decline due to maintenance.

In the metals markets, gold added 1 percent to $633.10/$634.60. Copper added 6.6 percent to $7,855 per tonne on low inventories, while nickel gained 3.9 percent to an all-time high price of $23,650 per tonne, and three-month aluminium was up 4.9 percent to $2,599.5 per tonne. Aluminium prices were aided by purchases by Japan and a decline in London Metal Exchange warehouses.

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