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Oil prices drop amid profit-taking

Oil prices declined on Thursday, snapping a three-day winning streak.

The West Texas Intermediate for May delivery dropped 94 cents, or 1.33 percent, to settle at 69.96 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for May delivery lost 78 cents, or 1.02 percent, to close at 75.91 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

The retreat came as “traders took profits after the strong rebound,” Vladimir Zernov, analyst with market information supplier FX Empire, said on Thursday.

Oil participants continued to digest data on U.S. fuel stockpiles

The US Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that the country’s crude oil inventories increased by 1.1 million barrels during the week ending March 17.

Total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 6.4 million barrels last week, while distillate fuel stocks fell by 3.3 million barrels, showed the report.