Money Matters - Simplified

Crude oil headed toward $88 per barrel

New York -- Crude oil prices headed toward $88 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Thursday as the European Central Bank kept lending rates unchanged.

The ECB left its bank-to-bank lending rate at 1 percent, as investors kept an eye on the ongoing debt crisis in Europe.

In New York, January delivery light, sweet crude prices added $1.12 cents to $87.87. Heating oil prices gained 4.04 cents to $2.446 per gallon. Reformulated gasoline blendstock prices picked up 4.72 cents to $2.3476 per gallon. Henry Hub natural gas prices gained 8.6 cents to $4.355 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline rose sharply, adding 1.5 cents from Wednesday's $2.864 per gallon to reach $2.879, AAA said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International

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