Oil Prices Pare Losses As Traders Turn Attention To Drop In U.S. Gasoline Supplies

By Myra P. Saefong Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Oil prices nearly erased earlier losses Wednesday afternoon. Prices had been set to settle at their lowest level since late November after U.S. government data revealed a rise of 5 million barrels in crude supplies to a record 533.1 million barrels for the week ended March 17. But the data also showed that gasoline inventories fell by 2.8 million barrels. Reformulated gasoline "and the summer driving season is leading us back from the November lows on crude," said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group. May WTI crude fell 7 cents, or 0.2%, to trade at $48.17 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after tapping lows closer to $47.

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