BUZZ-Oil Stocks: Oil retreats as U.S. crude inventories continue to surge

Wed Apr 8, 2015 2:04pm EDT
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** Oil and gas companies' shares down 4-8 pct

** Oil futures fell sharply on Wednesday after government data showed the largest weekly increase in U.S. crude inventories since 2001 and a day after Saudi Arabia reported record production in March

** Energy companies lead top losers on New York Stock Exchange: Crestwood Equity Partners LP down 8.7 pct, Swift Energy Co down 7 pct, PetroQuest Energy Inc down 5.5 pct, SandRidge Energy Inc down 7.9 pct, Magnum Hunter Resources Corp down 5.4 pct, Baytex Energy Corp down 4.5 pct, Laredo Petroleum Inc down 4.5 pct

** Separately, analysts at BofA Merrill Lynch downgrade Crestwood Equity Partners LP to "neutral" from "buy", saying they expect the company to cut its dividend distribution in 2015. The stock is the biggest loser on the NYSE