Oil Prices Fall As Inventory Rises

NEW YORK, March 24 (UPI) — Crude oil prices for May delivery dropped under $80 in New York Wednesday as equity markets ended a winning streak and the dollar index rose sharply.

The Dow Jones industrial average reached a 17-month high Tuesday with a gain of 102 points, closing at 10,888.83. But the DJIA dropped 52.68 points or 0.48 percent Wednesday to 10,836.15.

With the dollar index rising 1.37 percent, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said crude oil supplies rose by 7.3 million barrels in the week ending March 19.

Light, sweet crude oil prices dropped $1.30 to $80.61 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

May delivery heating oil futures dropped 0.0298 cents to $2.0845 per gallon. Reformulated gasoline blendstock for May fell 0.0285 cents to $2.234 per gallon. Henry Hub natural gas prices for May lost 0.03 cents to $4.16 per million British thermal units.

At the retail level, the average national price for unleaded regular gasoline was $2.816 per gallon Wednesday, unchanged from Tuesday, AAA said.

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