Crude oil inches down but remains near one-month high of US$104 a barrel

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The price of oil drifted lower Thursday, a day after hitting a one-month high.

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery fell 33 cents to close at US$103.74 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Wednesday, oil gained $1.74 to close at US$104.07.

Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, slipped 19 cents to US$110.36 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

The U.S. oil price shot up Wednesday after a report from the Energy Information Administration showed that U.S. crude oil supplies dropped 7.2 million barrels in the week ended May 16. The drop was bigger than analysts expected and due mostly to lower crude imports.

In other energy future trading on the Nymex, wholesale gasoline gained one cent to US$3.01 a U.S. gallon (3.79 litres), heating oil was flat at US$2.95 a gallon and natural gas dropped 11 cents to US$4.44 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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