Oil prices fall to lowest level in 6 months

Oil falls to lowest level in 6 months following report on growing US supplies

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Oil prices fell to their lowest level in nearly six months Wednesday after the government reported the 10th straight weekly increase in U.S. crude supplies.

Benchmark U.S. crude for January delivery fell $1.38, or 1.5 percent, to close at $92.30 a barrel Wednesday. Trading was light due to the holiday-shortened week.

The Energy Department said the nation's crude supplies rose by 3 million barrels, or 0.8 percent, last week. U.S. crude oil supplies now stand at 391.4 million barrels, which is 4.6 percent above where it was a year ago.

Crude levels are "well above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year," the report said.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline added 1 cent to $2.69 a gallon. Heating oil was unchanged at $3.04 a gallon. Natural gas gained 3 cents to $3.895 per 1,000 cubic feet.

In agricultural commodities, the price of corn for March delivery rose 1.75 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $4.27 a bushel. Wheat rose 7.5 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $6.635 a bushel. Soybeans for January fell 9.25 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $13.20 a bushel.

In metals trading, gold fell $3.60 to $1,237.80 an ounce. Silver for December delivery fell 21.5 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $19.63 an ounce. High-grade copper futures were down 1 cent, or 0.4 percent, to $3.20 a pound.

Platinum for January delivery fell $19.20, or 1.4 percent, to $1,352.70 an ounce. Palladium fell $1.85, or 0.3 percent, to $714.35 an ounce.

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