File - The nozzle of a gas pump as it puts fuel into a car at a gas station in Alhambra, east of downtown Los Angeles, California October 10, 2012. (AFP/Frederic J. BROWN)
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Oil slumped Wednesday, with U.S. crude prices at near six-year lows, after the government reported record-high inventories in the United States that raised anxieties about the global oil glut that had pressured the market since last summer.The U.S. Energy Information Administration said domestic crude oil stocks rose by almost 9 million barrels last week to reach nearly 407 million, their highest since the government began keeping records in 1982 .U.S. crude's front-month contract settled down $1.78, or almost 4 percent, at $44.45 a barrel.The spread between the two crude oils was its largest in a month, with Brent fetching a premium of about $4 a barrel due to the weaker fundamentals in U.S. crude.
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