New York -- Prices of crude oil, heating oil and natural gas rose through Wednesday, as U.S. markets positioned themselves in a bear market.
As energy prices rise and housing slumps, U.S. markets have declined 20 percent since October.
But, amid speculation the Federal Reserve would lower interest rates again next week, as it did on Tuesday, energy prices climbed on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while the price of gas at the pump remained steady.
Crude oil, rising 19 cents, hit $87.18 per barrel Wednesday afternoon. Heating oil rose 0.54 cents to hit $2.4285 per gallon.
Blendstock gasoline on the exchange rose 0.07 cents per gallon and natural gas rose 20 cents per million British thermal unit to reach $7.641.
New York -- Crude oil prices dropped $1.60 Wednesday morning, reaching $87.61 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The price of crude dropped and then recovered Tuesday as markets around the globe are spooked by signs of a U.S. recession, but buoyed for the moment by Federal Reserve cuts in key interest rates, announced Tuesday morning.
Heating oil, also in flux Tuesday, dropped 0.032 cents Wednesday morning to $2.4405 per gallon.
Prices for reformulated gasoline blendstock dropped 0.32 cents to $2.25 per gallon while natural gas prices gained 0.28 cents to $7.698 per million British thermal units.
At the pump, the price of unleaded has held steady since Tuesday, remaining at $3.01 per gallon, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report.
New York-- Crude oil prices fell more than $1 Monday to less than $89 a barrel, following a tumble in Asian markets and investors' worries over a possible U.S. recession.
Crude oil was down $1.65 by midmorning, at $88.92, having peaked on Friday at more than $91 a barrel.
Natural gas was also down, $0.089, to $7.904 per million British thermal units and heating was down $0.0319, reaching $2.4755 a gallon.
With the New York Mercantile Exchange open for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, how market worries pan out remained to be seen. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that U.S. President George Bush's economic stimulation proposal, "fell somewhat flat," in Asian markets, market analyst Patrick Bennett said.
AAA reported that gasoline prices at the pump fell slightly today, down $3.033 from Sunday's average of $3.044 for a gallon of unleaded.
New York -- Crude oil prices fell for a second straight day Wednesday after a government report showed crude inventories in the United States rose more than expected.
The price for crude oil fell $1.79 to $90.14 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday inventories rose for the first time in nine weeks, up by 4.3 million barrels to 287.1 million barrels for the week ending Jan. 11.
"If there were any bears still left in hibernation this report should bring them out," James Williams, an economist at energy research firm WTRG Economics, told MarketWatch. "For a week the petroleum market has been trading down on fear of a recession. This report adds to that."
Also on the exchange, natural gas lost 5.5 cents to $8.141 per million British thermal units. Gasoline fell 5.48 cents to $2.2544 a gallon while heating oil slipped 4.94 cents to $2.4978 a gallon.
Washington -- Crude oil inventories in the United States rose by 4.3 million barrels for the week ending Jan. 11, a government agency said.
At 287.1 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories were in the lower half of the average range for this time of year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported in a news release.
Motor gasoline inventories increased by 2.2 million barrels during the latest reporting period, and are near the upper limit of the average range. Both finished gasoline inventories and gasoline blending component inventories were higher last week.
Distillate fuel inventories increased by 1.1 million barrels, the EIA reported. Propane and propylene inventories fell by 2.5 million barrels.
Total commercial petroleum stockpiles grew by 3.6 million barrels, the agency said.
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