RTTNews - Oil plunged for a sixth straight session and reached its lowest level in seven weeks. Prices dropped on government data that revealed a build in gasoline and distillate fuel supplies in the recent week.

Light sweet crude oil settled at $60.14, a drop of $2.79 for the session, posting its lowest finish since May 19. Prices touched as low as $60.01 earlier in the session.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 2.9 million barrels in the week ended July 3. Experts were expecting to see supplies dropped 3.2 million barrels. Stockpiles in Cushing, Okla., rose to 30.2 million barrels, up from 28.6 a week earlier.

Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 1.9 million barrels last week. A more modest build of about 900,000 barrels was forecast. Distillate fuel inventories increased by 3.7 million barrels, much greater than the 1.7 million barrels expected by experts.

Tuesday after the markets closed, the American Petroleum Institute reported crude oil inventories fell 1.39 million barrels, but gasoline supplies rose by 767,000 barrels and distillates increased by 3.4 million barrels. Participation in the API data is voluntary.

Crude prices are down $9.75 per barrel already in the month of July. Oil has lost nearly 60% from the record $147.27 from nearly a year ago.

Oil's hedge value also took a hit as the greenback rose against its European rivals. The dollar rose to a two-week high against the euro and a monthly-best against the sterling as traders favored lower-yielding currencies.

Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans called on the Federal Reserve to lay the groundwork for a reduction of their bloated balance sheet, in light of economic conditions that continue to improve.

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