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    Oil Prices Slide

    Increased U.S. gas stocks precipitate skid.

    Oil prices dipped sharply yesterday on news of increased stocks of gasoline in the United States that soothed worries over a potential shortage during the summer.

    The American Petroleum Institute (API) said gasoline stocks increased 1.61 million barrels to 206.15 million in the week to May 25, their eighth consecutive weekly rise, to stand 5.62 million barrels above the lean levels seen at this time last year. The news sent prices dropping 53 cents to $28.60 a barrel, according to Reuters.

    The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported an even more bearish build of 4.3 million barrels for the week, although it said stocks were just 600,000 barrels from last year.

    The increases bode well for supplies in the U.S. gasoline market as it enters the peak summer driving demand period.

    Supplies of cleaner-burning reformulated gasoline (RFG) -- mandatory at a third of U.S. pumps -- also rose 1.8 million barrels, narrowing the year-on-year deficit to just 200,000 barrels from more than three million a week ago, the API said.

    The EIA reported a 2.3-million barrel jump in RFG supplies, putting them still down 1.3 million barrels on last year.

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