Wednesday, January 7, 2009


(RTTNews) - Oil prices dropped modestly on Wednesday as traders awaited the weekly inventory report from the Department of Energy. Many experts looked for stockpiles to increase in the recent week amid the ongoing economic concerns around the globe. Light sweet crude for February delivery fell to $48.04, down 54 cents on the session. Oil fell as low as $47.61 as it continued to back off yesterday''s highs above $50 per barrel. In overnight deals Wednesday, crude hit as high as $49.09. The Energy Information Administration''s latest inventory report is due later in the morning. Experts are looking for a build of about 1 million barrels in both crude oil and gasoline stockpiles. Last week''s data showed crude oil inventories increased 500,000 barrels in the week ended Dec. 26. Analysts predicted a drop of about 1.5 million barrels. However, gasoline inventories increased by 800,000 barrels last week, while analysts were looking for a rise of about 1.5 million barrels in the recent week. On the currency front, the greenback staged a sharp fall against its major rivals in early New York trading on Wednesday. The greenback fell to a new multi-week low of 1.5133 against the pound and a two-day low of 92.46 against the Japanese yen, and also dropped versus the euro and franc. In economic news, an Automatic Data Processing report showed that non-farm private employment fell by 693,000 jobs in December following a revised decrease of 476,000 jobs in November. Economists had been expecting the report to show a somewhat more modest decrease of about 450,000 jobs.Crude hit a five-week high of $50.47 on Tuesday as traders considered reports that members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are following through with output cuts, as planned last month. In December, OPEC announced a cut of 2.2 million barrels per day, effective Jan. 1 in response to rapidly plunging prices amid demand concerns.For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.comCopyright(c) 2009, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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