| GEO Business|
| Oil prices slide after surprise jump in US crude stocks|
| Updated at: 0145 PST, Thursday, October 02, 2008|
NEW YORK: Oil prices slumped Wednesday after news of a surprise jump in crude inventories in the United States, the world's biggest consumer of energy, put more downward pressure on prices.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for November delivery, lost 2.11 dollars to close at 98.53 dollars a barrel.
London's Brent North Sea crude for November delivery tumbled 2.84 dollars to settle at 95.33 dollars a barrel.
The US Department of Energy (DoE) said Wednesday that US crude stockpiles rose 4.3 million barrels in the week ending September 26, surprising a market which had been expecting a fall of around 1.7 million barrels.
The DoE said gasoline (petrol) stockpiles increased by 900,000 barrels.
Mike Fitzpatrick at MF Global said another possible reason for the decline was "an unwillingness to be surprised again by feckless US lawmakers" that has pushed traders to the sidelines.
The US Senate was set to vote later Wednesday on a new version of a package to rid Wall Street banks of toxic mortgage-related assets.