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Sept. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Crude oil futures maintained their losses after a U.S. government report showed a decline in inventories and an unexpected gain in gasoline stockpiles.
Gasoline inventories rose 1.94 million barrels to 210.8 million last week, the Energy Department said today. Stockpiles were forecast to fall 500,000 barrels, according to the median of 15 analyst estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.
Inventories of crude oil declined 6.7 million barrels to 346.4 million, the department said. Supplies were forecast to fall 3 million barrels.
Crude oil for October delivery fell 91 cents, or 1 percent, to $89.30 a barrel at 10:36 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil traded at $89.07 a barrel before the release of the report at 10:30 a.m. in Washington.
Oil also declined after government data showed U.S. retail sales unexpectedly stalled last month, spurring concern over the strength of the economy and fuel demand.
Futures declined as much as 1.9 percent as the Commerce Department said sales were unchanged in August following a 0.3 percent gain in July. The European Central Bank said it will lend two banks dollars tomorrow, signaling they are having borrowing difficulties.
“The U.S. economy isn’t looking that good,” said Carl Larry, director of energy derivatives and research with Blue Ocean LLC in New York. “We’re continuing to look at the European debt crisis. It’s no longer so much about the Greek debt itself, but about the banks that hold it, especially the French banks.”
Retail sales were forecast to climb 0.2 percent, according to the median forecast of 83 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Wholesale prices were also little changed in August as costs decreased for energy and automobiles, according to a Labor Department report today. The producer price index was unchanged after a 0.2 percent increase in July.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner will meet European Union finance ministers in Wroclaw, Poland, on Sept. 16 and Sept. 17 to discuss efforts to contain the region’s sovereign-debt troubles, according to a euro-area official who spoke on condition of anonymity. It will be the first time he attends a session of Europe’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council.
--Editors: Dan Stets, Richard Stubbe
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