Mild weather forecast to bring lower oil crude prices

&to=http://' target=_blank>Crude oil futures fell to a three-week low after a report showed U.S. gasoline supplies unexpectedly jumped last week and forecasts of mild weather eased concerns that winter heating supplies would fall short of demand.

&to=http://' target=_blank>Gasoline inventories rose for the 10th week in 11, and on Jan. 28 were 5 percent higher than a year earlier, according to a U.S. Energy Department report yesterday. Temperatures in the northeast and much of the central U.S. will be above normal in the first half of February, the National Weather Service said.

"We could see a little bit lower crude prices in the coming weeks with the mild weather forecast in the U.S.," said Herwin Schonewille, a trader with Fortis Bank NV in Brussels. "There is a pressure on heating oil market," as refineries start to switch to gasoline and "it seems there is lot of gasoline in stockpiles", reports Bloomberg.

At its meeting Sunday, &to=http://' target=_blank>OPEC warned that prices near the US$50 barrel range would remain high through the spring and opted to keep its production ceiling unchanged.

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