| GEO Business|
| Oil prices dip as dollar strengthens|
| Updated at: 0609 PST, Thursday, June 25, 2009|
NEW YORK: Oil prices fell Wednesday in choppy trading as the dollar strengthened and the United States reported mixed energy inventory data.
New York's main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in August, shed 57 cents from Tuesday's close to end at 68.67 dollars a barrel.
The price of London's Brent North Sea crude for August delivery fell 47 cents to 68.33 dollars per barrel.
Traders said prices were dictated by the dollar, which rose after the US Federal Reserve's policy-making body concluded a two day meeting with a consensus to maintain virtually zero interest rates to stimulate the world's largest economy from prolonged recession.
Around 1830 GMT, the euro fell 1.3938 dollars from 1.4078 dollars in late New York trading on Tuesday. A strong US currency makes oil priced in dollars more expensive for holders of other currencies.
The Federal Open Market Committee also said that "economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period."
Analysts said the Fed was holding to its aggressive course to stimulate the recession-bound economy despite the growing notion of "green shoots."
The market also digested data from the US Department of Energy on Wednesday showing crude stockpiles dropping 3.8 million barrels in the week ending June 19, steeper than the 1.3 million barrels expected by most analysts.