Crude oil fell from a record after an Energy Department report showed that inventories at the delivery point for the U.S. benchmark grade increased.
Supplies at Cushing, Okla., where New York-traded West Texas Intermediate oil is stored, rose 1.14 million barrels to 14.6 million last week. Nationwide, stockpiles of crude oil fell 1.07 million barrels to 313.6 million, the report showed.
When all was said and done, deliveries for January crude fell 74 cents to settle at $97.29 a barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures had climbed as high as $99.29 on Wednesday the highest intraday price since trading began in 1983. Prices are up 62 percent from a year ago.
There will be no floor trading in New York today because of the Thanksgiving holiday.
"I hope we can cross $100 and end this fixation," said Chip Hodge, a managing director at MFC Global Investment Management in Boston, who oversees a $4.5 billion energy company bond portfolio. "I still feel that demand will take a hit, it will just take time."
Meanwhile, the dollar continued its swoon, touching $1.487 per euro, the lowest since the 13-nation currency was started in 1999, while the price of gold jumped Wednesday.
The dollar appeared to gain little cheer from U.S. Labor Department
data on Wednesday showing that fewer people signed up for jobless benefits last week, with the figure dropping to the lowest level since the beginning of November.
A falling dollar tends to boost commodities prices as investors try to hedge against currency weakness by putting money in raw materials. The greenback recovered from its worst lows of the session, however, pulling that buttress from the commodities market.
The Conference Board, which measures future business activity, also issued a disheartening report on the perceived pace of economic growth. Its index of leading indicators dropped 0.5 for October, after September's index had risen 0.1 percent.