Crude oil dropped from a three-week high after US stock futures eased on weaker-than-expected company earnings, renewing concern that the recovery from the global recession may falter, reported Bloomberg.

Crude oil for September 2009 delivery declined as much as $0.70, or 1%, to $66.46 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It traded at $66.55 at 10.04am in Singapore. Yesterday, futures rose 2.7% to settle at $67.16.

US gasoline and distillate fuel inventories increased for a sixth week, signalling that demand in the world’s largest energy user has been slow to rebound.

Brent crude for September 2009 settlement on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange dropped as much as $0.56, or 0.8%, to $68.69 a barrel. The contract was at $69 at 12.18pm Singapore time.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) will cut shipments by 1.7% in the four weeks ending 8 August, according to consultant Oil Movements, as refinery maintenance and faltering demand encourage members to implement supply cuts.

Opec will decrease exports in the four-week period to 22.39 million barrels a day from 22.78 million a day in the month ended 11 July.