Oil prices dropped below $80 a barrel today as the dollar recovered and the euro fell on concerns over the European economy.

The sudden rise in US oil stocks, however, counterbalanced the fall of petrol ahead of the driving season.

For April delivery, US crude fell 30¢ to $79.70 a barrel at 0651 GMT, while London Brent crude dropped 24¢ to $77.85 a barrel, according to Reuters.

US crude oil stockpiles rose by 3 million barrels to 337.5 million barrels in the week ending 19 February.

US petrol inventories fell 900,000 barrels to 231.2 million barrels, compared with the 400,000-barrel build expected by analysts.

China’s demand for oil continued to rise, importing 17.1 million tonnes of crude in January, which is nearly 33.4% up from the previous year.

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