Oil prices slipped on Wednesday as U.S. gasoline inventory rose more than predicted, raising concern that the recovery in fuel demand was not as strong as previously expected.
Light, sweet crude for August delivery dropped 57 cents to settle at 68.67 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
According to the U.S. Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), crude stockpiles dropped by 3.8 million barrels for the week ended June 19, however gasoline inventories increased by 3.9 million barrels, much more than analysts’ expectation of one-million-barrel buildup.
Further pressure came as the dollar rose sharply against a basket of currencies after the Federal Reserve said the economy would “remain weak for some time” in its statement, despite the fact that the central bank indicated no major changes in the monetary policy.
In London, Brent crude for August delivery fell 47 cents to 68.33 dollars a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.