Crude Falls Below $73

14 February 2010 (Last Updated February 14th, 2010 18:30)

Crude prices dropped to an intra-day low of $72.66 today, after China's central bank increased the percentage of cash banks must keep as reserves. For March delivery, US crude rose by 35¢ to $74.87 a barrel at 7:43am GMT, according to Reuters. For April delivery, London I

Crude prices dropped to an intra-day low of $72.66 today, after China's central bank increased the percentage of cash banks must keep as reserves.

For March delivery, US crude rose by 35¢ to $74.87 a barrel at 7:43am GMT, according to Reuters.

For April delivery, London ICE Brent fell 14¢ to $72.76.

Closure of markets in China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore this week for Lunar New Year is likely to curb liquidity in oil markets.

Demand for distillates in the US fell 8% in the four weeks to 5 February from a year earlier, according to government data.

US crude and gasoline inventories increased more than what was predicted in the first week of February, while distillates declined less than what was expected.