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Oil drops on expected rise in US supply

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The price of oil fell below $103 barrel Wednesday as traders expected the Energy Department to report an increase in U.S. supplies.

Benchmark crude for July delivery dropped $1.39 to close at $102.72 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, fell 21 cents to $109.81 on the ICE exchange in London.

Traders were waiting for the latest information on U.S. supplies of crude and refined products. Data for the week ending May 23 is expected to show an increase of 1 million barrels in crude oil stocks and a decline of 200,000 barrels in gasoline stocks, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Meanwhile, U.S. drivers are paying an average of $3.65 a gallon at the gas pump. That’s down 5 cents from a month ago, but 2 cents higher than at this time last year.

In other energy futures trading in New York.

- Wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to $3.01 per gallon.

- Natural gas added 11 cents to $4.62 per 1,000 cubic feet.

- Heating oil fell 1 cent to $2.93 a gallon.