Demand for fuel commodities is still lagging -- or so says the Department of Energy in a fairly expectant inventory announcement today. Light, sweet crude for September delivery was losing 25 cents at $65.36 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange following the newest, weekly fuel inventory numbers from the Energy Information Administration. Earlier in the day, the contract lost as much as a $1.85 to come to $63.76. The EIA reported that oil inventories fell by 1.8 million barrels for the week ending July 17 to come to 342.7 million barrels. Still, that reserve level is 16% higher than at the same time last year. Other fuel products continued to grow, as gasoline stocks added another 800,000 barrels to come to 215.4 million barrels. Distillate fuels and propane inventories jumped up by 1.2 million barrels and 2 million barrels, respectively. Headlining energy stocks were mixed by the afternoon. Shares of Chevron ( CVX) were flat, while Exxon Mobil ( XOM) was losing 0.6%, or 42 cents, at $70.05. ConocoPhillips ( COP) and BP ( BP) were down near 0.5% each. Hess ( HES) was one of the bigger energy losers so far on the day, slipping 1.7%, or 90 cents, at $51.70. Suncor Energy ( SU), which announced a
second-quarter loss this morning and watched its shares fall early, was up 0.4%, or 12 cents, at $32.83.