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Oil down near $96 per barrel after supplies uptick

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 9, 2013 at 7:06 am •  Published: May 9, 2013

The price of oil fell closer to $96 a barrel on Thursday after reports showed supplies of U.S. crude rose last week and inflation accelerated in China.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for June delivery was down 49 cents to $96.13 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Wednesday, the Nymex contract rose $1 to finish at $96.62 a barrel.

Prices were soft after two reports released this week on oil inventories reminded traders that supplies are ample.

The American Petroleum Institute said crude supplies increased by 680,000 barrels to 389.1 million barrels. Separately, the U.S. Energy Department said in its report, the market benchmark, that oil supplies grew last week by 200,000 barrels to 395.5 million barrels.

Although the increase undershot expectations, analysts said the steady increase in supplies showed market fundamentals do not favor an extended rally in crude.

Oil prices were also held back by higher-than-expected inflation figures out of China, which fed concerns that rising prices could slow the world's second-largest oil consumer. Consumer prices rose by an annual 2.4 percent in April, up from 2.1 percent in March, outpacing forecasts expecting an increase of 2.2 percent.

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