BANGKOK – The price of oil fell below $95 a barrel Wednesday, parting ways with rising stock markets, as ample supplies keep buying appetite in check.
Benchmark oil for July delivery was down 16 cents to $94.85 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The contract rose 86 cents to close at $95.01 a barrel in New York on Tuesday. It was the first gain for oil in five trading sessions.
Positive signs for the U.S. economy helped oil prices break a falling streak on Tuesday. U.S. home prices rose the most in seven years and consumer confidence reached a five-year high. The Dow Jones industrial average closed at another record high. Asian stocks posted solid gains Wednesday.
But the reality of ample supplies and run-of-the-mill demand worked in tandem to keep energy prices in check, traders said.
"We all know that the US supply is near record highs and demand is playing catch up as slow as the economy is recovering," said Carl Larry of Oil Outlooks and Opinions. "So now we're stuck with moderate demand, consistent and steady supply and no real worry about where the next barrel of oil is coming from."
Brent crude, a benchmark for many international oil varieties, was down 11 cents to $104.12 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline dropped 0.5 cent to $2.84 a gallon.
— Heating oil fell 0.3 cent to $2.901 per gallon.
— Natural gas shed 0.8 cent to $4.166 per 1,000 cubic feet.