Oil slips on excess supply

By Annalyn Censky, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Oil prices slipped Wednesday after a weekly supply report from the government's energy agency showed an increase in oil stockpiles.

What prices are doing: Crude for June delivery slipped $1.06 or 1.4%, with oil settling at $75.65 a barrel Wednesday.

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Click the chart for the current price of oil and other commodities.

Gasoline prices fell for the sixth day in a row, slipping to $2.896 a gallon from $2.901 the day before.

What's moving the market: A report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed crude supplies grew by 1.9 million barrels last week, slightly more than the 1.7 million analysts expected.

Gasoline inventories were also up 2.8 million barrels and distillate fuel, a category that includes heating oil and diesel, increased by 1.4 million barrels.

The report follows an announcement by the Paris-based International Energy Agency, which lowered its worldwide demand predictions for 2010, earlier Wednesday.

Crude prices have been seesawing on European debt concerns over the last week. Overall, oil is about $10 lower than it was a week ago, as investors worry that economic instability in Europe's debt-strapped countries could put a damper on demand for fuel.

What analysts are saying: Anxiety about Europe's debt troubles took a back seat to inventory reports Wednesday, but those fears will continue to be an underlying factor driving oil prices, said Andrew Lebow, a senior vice president at MF Global.

The price of crude has climbed in the last year on hopes of a global economic recovery that will drive more demand for petroleum products. However, woes in Europe and reports that show growing inventories are adding to market anxiety, and casting doubt on that trend, Lebow said.

Meanwhile, commodities traders will continue to monitor the oil spill on the Gulf Coast to see if it has an significant impact on shipments. To top of page

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