Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Oil holds above $119

Oil prices were steady above $119 a barrel Wednesday as investors awaited weekly oil and gasoline inventory data for further evidence of declining crude demand in the U.S.  

By midday in Europe, light, sweet crude for September delivery was up 36 cents to $119.53 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract dropped $2.24 overnight to settle at $119.17 a barrel.

In London, September Brent crude rose 66 cents to $118.36 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

Oil will probably drop further unless the U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration says in its weekly oil inventory report that gasoline stocks fell significantly, said Tetsu Emori, who manages a commodity markets fund at ASTMAX Futures Co. in Tokyo.

"If we don't get a strong number, oil prices will likely fall further," he said.

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