Crude Steadies; Stocks News Mixed

(RTTNews) - Oil prices rebounded on Wednesday after the weekly inventory report showed a surprise drop in gasoline supplies. Light sweet crude for September delivery moved to $123.07, up 87 cents on the session. Prices hit as low as $120.80 in the mid-morning before rallying as high as $123.75.

Crude oil inventories were down less than expected in the recent week, according to data released Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration. Stockpiles decreased by about 100,000 barrels in the week ended July 25. Experts were looking for a drop of about 1.5 million barrels.

However, motor gasoline inventories decreased by 3.5 million barrels last week. This came as a surprise to experts, who were looking for a build of about 400,000 barrels. Distillate fuel inventories increased by 2.4 million barrels, which was slightly more than expected.

Crude oil prices plunged again on Tuesday and reached a 12-week low. Light sweet crude for September delivery closed at $122.19, down $2.54 on the session. Prices moved as low as $120.42, oil's lowest mark since early May.

The September contract fell below its 50-day moving average with Tuesday's decline. The next key psychological support may be found at the $120 mark. Crude has not traded below that level since May 7.

Oil has plunged for the last few weeks and given back more than $25 from the record levels $147.27 reached on July 11. Worldwide demand has deceased with prices well into previously unseen levels. September crude has closed lower in eight of the last 11 sessions.