Crude prices fell after U.S. crude inventories rose to an all-time high last week and Russian output was unchanged in February. Fred Katayama reports.
U.S. crude stocks shot up to an all-time high last week. Inventories by the world's largest oil consumer rose by 1.5 million barrels. And Russia's oil production was flat this month. That signals a pause in Moscow's efforts to curb production. Rising U.S. inventories and flat Russian output sent U.S. oil prices down below $53 a barrel Thursday morning. First Standard Financial's chief market economist Peter Cardillo: SOUNDBITE: PETER CARDILLO, CHIEF MARKET ECONOMIST, FIRST STANDARD FINANCIAL, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The price of oil is basically trapped in a trading range here between $52 and $55. We just can't get over that $55 level just yet, and I think that's not a negative going forward for the market. But I think we're in a period where the market is building a base and that base will probably mean that we will break out to higher prices." Oil prices have been unusually stable since November. That's when oil producers agreed to cut output.