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updated: 8/15/2012 6:58 AM

Oil falls to near $93 on US stockpile increase

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Associated Press

BANGKOK -- Oil fell to near $93 a barrel Wednesday in Asia after a rise in oil supplies offset U.S. retail sales data showing Americans spending more.

Benchmark oil for September delivery was down 16 cents at $93.27 per barrel at midafternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 70 cents to end at $93.43 a barrel in New York on Tuesday.

Americans increased their retail spending in July by the most in five months, a gain of 0.8 percent over June, government data showed Tuesday. The increase came after three straight monthly declines.

Traders were remaining cautious, however, after the American Petroleum Institute said crude stockpiles in the U.S. rose some 2.8 million barrels last week. Expectations were for a drop of 1.7 million, according to Natalie Rampono, a commodities analyst at ANZ Banking Group in Melbourne.

""It is a negative signal for demand," she said.

Brent crude was down 1 cent at $112.14 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London. It has gained more than $8 per barrel this month.

In other futures trading on the Nymex, gasoline fell marginally to $3.01 a gallon. Heating oil fell 0.5 cents to $3.029 a gallon. Natural gas fell 1.8 cents to $2.82 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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