The price of oil changed only minimally after recent falls as an industry report showed a rise in US gasoline supplies.

Crude oil for July 2009 delivery dropped about $0.56, or 0.8%, to $69.91 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was traded at $70.38 a barrel at 11.04am Singapore time. Last week oil touched a seven-month high of $73.23 a barrel.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) said that the US industrial production in May 2009 fell 1.1%, signalling that the manufacturing slump remains broad-based. Motor fuel supplies in the previous week increased 2.1 million barrels even as the US has entered the peak summer driving demand season.

On 16 June 2009, oil retreated from a 3% advance as the dollar strengthened from its weakest level against the euro since 21 May, decreasing demand for commodities.

The US dollar strengthened to $1.3837 against the euro on 16 June after touching $1.3933, the weakest level since 21 May. It was trading at $1.3847 at 10.48am Singapore time.

Energy Department

As per API data, crude oil inventories fell 1.26 million barrels to 356.6 million last week.

The US Energy Department’s weekly report is expected to show that crude stockpiles fell two million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts.

US crude oil supplies are 11% higher than the five-year average for this time of year.

The supplies of gasoline probably increased 550,000 barrels in the week ended 12 June from 201.6 million the previous week. Nine of 11 analysts surveyed said that supplies increased. Stockpiles during the year-ago period dropped 1.2 million barrels amid the peak motor-fuel demand season in the US.

Brent crude for August 2009 settlement was traded at $70.20 a barrel, down $0.04, on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange at 10.54am Singapore time.