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Oil drops more than 1% per cent on big increase in gasoline supplies

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The price of oil fell more than one per cent Wednesday after government data showed that U.S. demand for gasoline fell last week to the lowest level in a year.

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery fell $1.34, or 1.4 per cent, to close at $92.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The U.S. Energy Department said supplies of gasoline rose by 6.2 million barrels last week, a jump of nearly three per cent.

Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill, said the data indicated that demand for gasoline was the lowest since the same week last year. Analysts surveyed by Platts had expected gasoline supplies to rise by two million barrels.

Brent crude, used to set prices for international varieties of crude, fell 20 cents to US$107.15 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline dropped two cents to US$2.66 a U.S. gallon (3.79 litres), heating oil slipped one cent to US$2.95 a gallon and natural gas fell eight cents to US$4.22 per 1,000 cubic feet.


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