Oil prices fell nearly 3 percent last week, extended losses after

TradingPub Admin | February 26, 2013

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Oil prices fell nearly 3 percent during the week ending February 22, and have fallen further this week as markets were impacted by uncertainty surrounding elections in Italy. 

April crude was trading 0.3 percent higher at $93.13 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on February 22, according to MarketWatch. 

This preceded the sharp drop that U.S. benchmark crude experienced the day before, as the contract plummeted 2.5 percent, The Associated Press reports. 

The Associated Press reports that in early afternoon trade in Europe on February 26, this contract had fallen 65 cents at $92.46 a barrel in electronic trading. 

Markets responded to news earlier in last week that the nation's crude supplies, as estimated by The Energy Information Administration, rose by more than predicted during the most recent week, according to MarketWatch. Inventories of distillates recorded a larger-than-anticipated drop. 

"If anything, data points have been slightly bullish to price as seen in significant [supply] draws in gas[oline] and distillates," Neal Ryan, managing partner at Ryan Oil & Gas Partners LLC, told the news source. 

He added that the market for oil "seems to be trading more on the macroeconomic picture at present more than direct industry data points." 

The Associated Press reports that the future actions of the Federal Reserve could impact oil prices, if the central bank's retraction of monetary easing results in a reduced money supply.