Oil prices post first quarterly decline since 2008

By Hibah Yousuf, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Oil prices continued to slide Wednesday, and posted the first quarterly decline since the fourth quarter of 2008, after a weaker-than-expected report on crude inventories.

What prices are doing: Crude oil futures for August delivery fell 31 cents, or 0.4%, to settle at $75.63 a barrel.

oil.png

Over the course of the quarter, oil prices lost 9.7%. Prices have gained every quarter since the last quarter of 2008, when they plunged by 55.7%.

The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas held steady at $2.755, unchanged from the previous day's price, according to motorist group AAA.

What's moving the market: Investors were disappointed by weekly supply report that showed weak demand for crude oil. The Energy Information Administration said that gasoline stockpiles jumped by 500,000 barrels, surprising analysts who expected them to drop by 400,000 barrels, according to a consensus estimate collected by energy information provider Platts.

Distillates, used to make heating oil and diesel, increased by 2.5 million barrels, above the 1.3 million-barrel increase analysts had forecast.

Crude inventories fell by 2 million barrels last week. Analysts expected crude supplies to fall by 1.2 million barrels.

Oil prices were also pressured by a report from Automatic Data Processing showed that employers added 13,000 jobs in June, but the gain was below forecasts.

Economists surveyed by Briefing.com expected payrolls to climb by 61,000 during the month.

What analysts are saying: "The main focus for the energy market will switch to the weekly EIA oil inventories report," said Myrto Sokou, analyst at Sucden Financial, in a research note.

"Crude oil prices have retreated almost 10% from the end of March, displaying fears for the pace of the economic recovery," Sokou said. "However, the U.S. hurricane season could provide some support to the energy market and hold crude oil prices in the $70-$80 per barrel range in the near term."  To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.19%4.26%
15 yr fixed3.23%3.27%
5/1 ARM3.34%3.45%
30 yr refi4.17%4.23%
15 yr refi3.21%3.25%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,982.59 22.02 0.13%
Nasdaq 4,444.91 0.00 0.00%
S&P 500 1,978.91 0.57 0.03%
Treasuries 2.49 0.02 0.89%
Data as of 4:46am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Apple Inc 99.02 1.99 2.05%
Facebook Inc 74.92 -0.06 -0.08%
Bank of America Corp... 15.50 -0.09 -0.58%
Dollar Tree Inc 54.87 -0.08 -0.15%
Family Dollar Stores... 75.74 15.08 24.86%
Data as of Jul 28

Sections

Herbalife shares tumble after the maker of nutritional supplements reports earnings that fall short of analysts' estimates. More

New annual report from U.S. government shows the long-term prognosis for Medicare has improved thanks to slower health spending, while the outlook for Social Security remains unchanged. More

Online dating site OkCupid found its users were more likely to have conversations when it told them they were more compatible than in reality. More

Actor-founded This Bar Saves Lives had Hollywood connections, but learned Start-Up 101 the hard way. More

Steve Mason, a pastor from California, inherited more than $100,000 in student loan debt when his 27-year-old daughter died suddenly in 2009. With interest and late penalties, the debt has since ballooned to $200,000. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.