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NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices fell sharply Thursday after the Energy Department reported unexpected declines in crude oil supplies last week but said the drop was due to temporary delays in unloading oil tankers along the Gulf Coast.
The decline of more than $4 came as a stronger dollar and concerns about gas demand also weighed on prices.
Retail gas prices, meanwhile, rose to a new record above $3.95 a gallon.
Light, sweet crude for July delivery fell $4.41 to settle at $126.62 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the lowest settlement in two weeks and the biggest single-day price drop since March 19.
In Washington, meanwhile, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission revealed that it is six months into a wide-ranging investigation of U.S. oil markets, with a focus on possible price manipulation. The CFTC also announced a handful of initiatives designed to increase transparency of the energy futures markets.
The commission said it started the probe in December and was publicizing the investigation "because of today's unprecedented market conditions."
Disclosure of the investigation may have contributed to oil's declines, analysts said.