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Oil price falls toward $94 on supply increase

BANGKOK (AP) — The price of oil fell Thursday after data showed that inventories of crude continued to rise in early April.

Benchmark oil for May delivery was down 17 cents to $94.47 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract finished up 44 cents at $94.64 a barrel on the Nymex on Wednesday.

The American Petroleum Institute said crude inventories rose by 5.06 million barrels to 390.7 million barrels for the week ending April 5.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Energy Department said supplies grew by 300,000 barrels, or 0.1 percent, for the week to 388.9 million barrels. That puts U.S. oil supply at its highest level since July 1990.

While supplies are increasing, demand forecasts are being trimmed. An OPEC report on global oil demand predicted an increase of 800,000 barrels in 2013, down by 40,000 barrels from last month's estimate.

Brent crude, which sets the price of oil used by many U.S. refineries to make gasoline, fell 25 cents to $105.54 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline fell 0.3 cent at $2.862 per gallon.

— Natural gas added 4.1 cents to $4.164 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil lost 0.8 cent to $2.94 per gallon.

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