RTTNews - Crude oil plunged on Friday amid energy demand concerns after a disappointing consumer sentiment report in the U.S. The drop took oil to its lowest closing level of the month.
Light sweet crude oil for September delivery declined to $67.51 per barrel, down $3.01 on the session. Prices touched below $67.12 per barrel. For the week, oil lost $3.06.
A Reuters and the University of Michigan report showed that the consumer sentiment index fell to a reading of 63.2 in August from a reading of 66.0 in July. The decrease surprised economists, who had been expecting the index to increase to 69.0.
Elsewhere on the economic front, the Labor Department said its consumer price index was unchanged in July after increasing by an unrevised 0.7 percent in June. The lack of growth in consumer prices came in line with the expectations of economists.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve reported industrial production increased by 0.5 percent in July after falling by 0.4 percent in June. Economists had been expecting a slightly more modest increase in industrial production of about 0.4 percent.
Crude oil's hedge value was also decreased as the dollar rebounded versus the euro. The greenback saw strength against the euro as weaker global stocks reduced risk appeal. The buck posted slight gains against the pound.
Earlier this week, Energy Information Administration data showed crude oil inventories increased by 2.5 million barrels from the previous week. Experts were looking for a build in crude supplies of 1.2 million barrels. At 352.0 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are above the upper boundary of the average range for this time of year.
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