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Crude Oil Drops To Monthly Low

Crude oil futures fell sharply Wednesday, extending a recent slump after data showed U.S. oil inventories dropped for a second week in a row.

March WTI oil settled at $61.79/bbl, down $1.60, or 2.5% -- the lowest in a month.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum
Reserve) increased by 1.9 million barrels from the previous week.

Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 3.4 million barrels last week, and are
in the middle of the average range.

A stronger dollar and demand concerns also weighed on oil prices. Rising interest rates may cool off the economy, resulting in diminished demand for energy products.

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