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OIL PRICE FALLS FROM 18-MONTH HIGH ON FORECAST OF

By NBF NEWS
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Crude oil prices declined from an 18-month high on forecasts that a government report will show United States' inventories climbed for a tenth week, the longest stretch of increases in five years.

Stockpiles probably rose 1.35 million barrels last week, according to the median of 14 estimates from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. Oil climbed above $87 per barrel on Tuesday for the first time since October 2008 following reports that showed growth in American jobs and service industries.

'We're taking a break before the report today,' said an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut, Gene McGillian. 'The rally is still intact unless we get a very bearish surprise in today's inventory report.'

Crude oil for May delivery fell 51 cents, or 0.6 per cent, to $86.33 a barrel at 9:06 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices reached $87.09 on Tuesday, the highest level since October 9, 2008. Futures are up 8.8 per cent this year.

Gasoline supplies probably dropped one million barrels from 224.9 million the prior week, the survey showed. Stockpiles of distillate fuel, a category that includes heating oil and diesel, slipped 1.13 million barrels from 144.6 million, according to the median of responses.

Crude oil stockpiles rose 1.07 million barrels last week to 353 million, the industry-funded American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday. Gasoline inventories fell 2.96 million barrels to 220.2 million, according to the report. Distillate fuel supplies climbed 723,000 barrels to 148.3 million.

Prices also slipped as the dollar gained against the euro. A stronger US currency reduces the investment appeal of commodities. The greenback traded at $1.3351 per euro, up 0.4 per cent from $1.3399 on Tuesday.

Brent crude oil for May settlement slipped 26 cents, or 0.3 per cent, to $85.89 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange