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Energy Futures Mixed

June 6, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) _ Crude oil futures drifted higher and gasoline futures fell Tuesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange in advance of a key inventory report.

The American Petroleum Institute was expected to report a build in U.S. crude oil stockpiles as well as gasoline stores.

Nevertheless, light sweet crude for July delivery inched up 5 cents to $29.75 a barrel, retreating from a session high of $30.23 a barrel. Crude has met resistance above $30 a barrel on expectations OPEC will increase production to drive prices down.

As part of the decision adopted by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in March, production could be increased by an additional 500,000 barrels a day if the 20-day moving average price for the crude basket, which stood at $27.90 on Tuesday, rises above $28 a barrel.

Prices on the NYMEX generally are about $2 a barrel higher than the crude basket.

July unleaded gasoline fell 1.06 cent to 98.83 a gallon on expectations of rising stockpiles and an increase in production.

In its weekly report, released after the close of regular trading, API reported that U.S. crude stocks fell by 4.348 million barrels in the week ended June 2 to 298.24 million barrels.

Gasoline stores rose by 1.489 million barrels to 202.023 million barrels, as refineries increased their operating rate to 94.7 percent capacity, up from 94.6 percent the previous week.

In other trading, heating oil for July delivery rose .67 cent to 75.34 a gallon and July natural gas fell 10.4 cents to $4.294 per 1,000 cubic feet after jumping nearly 9 percent, or 35.5 cents, Monday.

On London’s International Petroleum Exchange, Brent crude from the North Sea rose 22 cents to $28.59 a barrel.

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