US inventory report revealed a rise in crude and other fuel stockpiles on belief that high energy prices are eroding demand. Light, sweet crude for September delivery settled at US$118.58 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after briefly dipping below US$118 a barrel yesterday. Oil prices now stand almost thirty dollars lower than their record high - the lowest settlement price since May 2. Prices peaked to US$147.27 on July 11.
It is believed that the US$117 mark is a key resistance level expected to cause a rush of technical selling by computers programmed to dump oil contracts once prices fall below a certain threshold.