Oil prices fell below $49 a barrel Wednesday, then rebounded above $50, after the U.S. government released data that showed &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/chechnya/2000/10/24/431.html ' target=_blank>crude oil and gasoline supplies rose last week, while demand fell. Light, sweet crude for June delivery rose 85 cents to $50.35 in midday trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange, bouncing off of an intraday low of $48.80.
Gasoline futures fell more than 2 cents to $1.439, putting them about 30 cents below their settlement peak on April 1. Lebow said oil futures prices reversed course from their downtrend as a result of short-covering, in which traders who were betting on even lower prices were forced to cover their bets, pushing prices higher.
The latest petroleum supply snapshot from the &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/region/2002/08/06/33909.html ' target=_blank>U.S. Department of Energy showed a 2.6 million barrel increase in crude oil last week, bringing the nation's inventories to 327 million barrels, or 9 percent above year ago levels.
The supply of gasoline grew by 2.2 million barrels to 213.5 million barrels, or 6 percent above year ago levels, reports ABC News. According to the Washington Post, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Wednesday the nation's crude supply grew another 2.6 million barrels last week to a total of 327 million barrels, the highest level since March 2002.