Money Matters - Simplified

Crude oil slides on currency move

New York -- Crude oil prices dropped closer to $75 per barrel Wednesday morning after Japan moved to shore up its export-oriented economy by devaluing the yen.

Moving to buy U.S. dollars and sell off yen, Japan managed to shift the value of U.S. currency from near 82 yen per dollar Tuesday to 84.50 yen Wednesday morning.

As oil is priced in U.S. currency, the dollar's rise gave traders incentive to reduce their positions.

Light, sweet crude oil for October delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped $1.44 to $75.36 per barrel. Heating oil prices for October lost 0.009 cents to $2.1198 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline shed 0.0205 cents to $1.9485 per gallon.

Henry Hub natural gas gained 0.046 cents to $4.012 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline was $2.731 per gallon Wednesday, up from Tuesday's $2.717, AAA said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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