RTTNews - Crude oil prices finished unchanged on Wednesday after posting sharp declines in the last two sessions. Investors mulled over an Energy Information Administration report that revealed inventories fell last week, but not as much as expected.

Light sweet crude oil for October delivery finished at $68.05 per barrel for a second straight session. Prices earlier hit as low as $67.05.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 400,000 barrels in the week ended August 28 to reach 43.4 million barrels. Experts were looking for a drop of about 1.9 million barrels. The American Petroleum Institute had reported late yesterday afternoon that crude oil stockpiles dropped 3.19 million barrels in the week ended August 28.

Total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 3.0 million barrels last week. Supplies were forecast to drop 1.4 million barrels and distillates are predicted to decline 600,000.

Distillate fuel inventories increased by 1.2 million barrels and propane/propylene inventories decreased by 1.6 million barrels.

On the economic front, Automatic Data Processing reported non-farm private employment fell by 298,000 jobs in August following a revised decrease of 360,000 jobs in July. Economists had expected a decrease of about 246,000 jobs compared to the loss of 371,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

More jobs news is on the way tomorrow as the report on initial jobless claims are expected at 570,000 for the week ended August 29, the same as the prior week. The Labor Department's monthly employment situation report is due on Friday.

The dollar fell toward 1.4300 versus the euro, backing off of a two-week high. The greenback dropped off a six-week high against the sterling. Commodities often move opposite the dollar because of the hedge value.

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