Crude Oil for March delivery finished down $1.66, or 2.1%, at $76.08 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Thursday. Currently Oil is trading at $75.84 a barrel.
Oil prices declined despite a reported drop in crude oil inventories of 500K barrels last week, as refiners reduced imports. The small drop was not enough to push Oil prices up as supplies remain high with refineries reducing their operating rate as U.S. Oil demand is showing little signs of a recovery. A recovery in Oil demand from the world's biggest consumer of crude is seen as essential, however, despite several months of encouraging economic data, U.S. demand remains weak.
Pressure on Oil intensified following a broad sell off in U.S. stocks following the announcement of President Obama's proposed banking reforms and renewed concerns about China's tightening of monetary policy.