Crude Drops Almost $5 a Barrel

Crude Drops Almost $5 a Barrel

Oil prices dropped sharply after China said it will raise fuel prices, a move that could dampen its booming oil consumption.

Crude-oil prices also were given a downward push by the Iraqi Oil Ministry’s announcement that it is close to signing oil service deals with several major Western oil companies in an effort to boost crude output.

Light, sweet crude for July delivery fell $4.75 to settle at $131.93 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

At the pump, meanwhile, gas prices slipped 0.2 cent overnight to a national average of $4.073 a gallon, according to a survey of stations by AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.

In other Nymex trading, July gasoline futures lost 11.41 cents to settle at $3.3526 a gallon, and July heating oil futures gave up 14.65 cents to settle at $3.7135 a gallon.

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