Crude Oil Drops As OPEC Exceeds Quota

Crude oil fell late Wednesday after it was revealed that OPEC members exceeded production quota by almost a million barrels/day during April.

OPEC also forecast that global consumption will fall by 1.57 million barrels/day this year - 150,000 barrels/day more than predicted in April.

Crude fell to close at $58.02/barrel on the news, slightly more than $2 below the highs earlier in the week when crude hit $60.08, its highest level for six months.

Data from the US Energy Dept confirmed Tuesday's news from the API that crude inventories fell last week, by 4.63 million barrels, whilst gasoline stocks fell by 4.15 million barrels.

A US Commerce Department report said that retail sales fell 0.4% last month, denting hopes that an recovery is on the way which would aid demand for crude in the world's largest economy.

In early trade Thursday morning crude is 41 cents easier at $57.61/barrel.