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Oil's slide continues, hits 6-week low below $92

Associated Press Modified: September 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm •  Published: September 19, 2012
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Oil prices fell on Wednesday for the third day in a row as traders realized that a recent run-up to $100 may have been overdone.

Oil ended at $91.98 on Wednesday, dropping $3.31, or 3.5 percent. That was its lowest close since Aug. 3. Oil has fallen 7 percent this week.

Several things have been pushing prices down. Analysts said traders are taking profits after oil got above $100 per barrel on Friday for the first time since May. And there have more signs this week that the global economy is slowing down, which tends to push oil prices lower because people and businesses use less energy.

Also, crude inventories rose three times more than analysts had expected last week. Crude supplies grew by 8.5 million barrels to 367.6 million barrels. That's 8.4 percent higher than at the same time last year, according to the Energy Information Administration's weekly report.

Analysts expected a rise of 2.5 million barrels, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

There were also reports that Saudi Arabia is keeping production high to drive oil prices lower.

Oil's decline came despite some news that might have pushed prices higher. The Bank of Japan said on Wednesday that it would buy more government bonds, which is intended to boost Japan's economy. And ongoing tensions in the Middle East have tended to drive prices higher.

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