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Inventory data pushes down oil prices

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Inventory data pushes down oil prices

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Oil prices have plummeted again. At one stage on Wednesday they fell by around 4%. That came after the release of weekly US data showed a bigger than expected increase in stocks of crude.

Inventories in the United States – which is the world’s largest oil consumer – rose by 4.3 million barrels last week. Analysts had expected an increase of around two million barrels. US light crude touched $96 a barrel, down from its all time high of $147 in July.

The US Department of Energy also said that there had been a fall in demand for petrol. Stocks were up by 900,000 barrels, while analysts had expected a drop of more than 1.5 million barrels. Against the background of the US bank rescue plan oil prices have been very volatile this week.