Money Matters - Simplified

Crude oil prices head higher

New York -- Commodites traders shook off Tuesday's tailspin, pushing oil prices 41 cents higher on the New York Mercantile Exchange to $80.31 per barrel early Wednesday.

The People's Bank of China knocked the price of oil its perch Tuesday, raising interest rates to slow the economy and curb inflation. Oil prices Tuesday dropped $3.72 or about 4 percent Tuesday, then dipped to an overnight low of $79.90 for December delivery light, sweet crude.

Heating oil prices Wednesday rebounded, adding 0.62 cents to $2.1955 per gallon. Reformulated gasoline prices shed 0.09 cents from a prior settlement to $2.0318 per gallon. Henry Hub natural gas prices added 3 cents to $3.543 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline rose Wednesday to $2.831 per gallon from Tuesday's $2.829, AAA said.

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