Oil dips below USD 76 a barrel


New York's main contract, light sweet crude for March delivery, tumbled 25 cents to USD 75.83 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in March shed 13 cents to USD 74.45.
"The DoE report was not very bullish. The refineries' capacities were down at around 78 per cent and that was their lowest in the two decades," said Serene Lim, a Singapore-based oil analyst with the ANZ bank.

The US Department of Energy (DoE) said Thursday that gasoline reserves in the world's biggest economy increased by a stronger-than-expected 3.9 million barrels in the week ending January 15, striking a two-year high.

However, US crude stocks fell 400,000 barrels, according to the DoE report, confounding expectations of a large gain of 1.9 million barrels.

It said refineries operated at 78.4 per cent of capacity last week, their lowest rate in at least two decades apart from the immediate aftermath of a hurricane.
Moves by China, the world's second biggest energy consumer, to slow down its roaring economy also weighed on traders' minds.

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