- THE MAGAZINE
Traders were also on tenterhooks ahead of the weekly US energy inventories report, which has the potential to push prices beyond the psychological barrier of $120.
New York's main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in June, shed 33 cents to $117.74 a barrel. The May contract had struck a record high $119.90 before expiring Tuesday.
London's Brent North Sea crude for June delivery lost 42 cents to $115.53 on Wednesday, after hitting a lifetime peak of $116.75 on Tuesday.
Prices soared to historic heights on Tuesday as an attack on crude pipelines in Nigeria further tightened global energy supplies, which are under intense pressure with crude cartel OPEC refusing to raise short-term output.
Additional support came from the weak US currency, which makes dollar-priced oil cheaper for foreign buyers and stimulates demand. The euro surged past $1.60 for the first time on Tuesday.