Crude-oil failed to post any sizeable gains Wednesday, as investors remained cautious about the global economic recovery and, by extension, about the demand for oil. Crude prices declined 22 cents, or 0.3%, to settle at $72.48 a barrel as investors continued to be worried about the euro and about the economic recovery.

A relatively positive report on inventories and better prospects for economic growth of the U.S. spurred several forays into positive territory, but oil couldn't sustain them. Crude oil has been rocked this week over jitters that Europe's fragile financial situation has the potential to could the outlook for oil demand.