Money Matters - Simplified

Energy

Crude prices swing up Wednesday

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.

Crude prices drop; pump prices hold steady

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.

Crude oil up after morning slide

New York -- Crude oil prices recovered Tuesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, recording dips in the morning and gains throughout much of the day.

By mid-afternoon crude had reached $89.85 per barrel before slipping $0.21 to $89.64, a climb from the early morning price of $87.65 a barrel.

Heating oil also fluctuated through the day, hitting $2.4673 down $0.0053 after a morning drop to $2.4422 a gallon.

Prices for reformulated gasoline blendstock were at $2.2739, down $0.0067 per gallon, while natural gas was at $7.652 per million British thermal units, down $0.341.

At the pump, the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline held steady at $3.01 per gallon.

Copyright 200

Energy indexes dip on national holiday

New York -- Crude oil prices dropped Monday morning and remained low throughout the day, falling to $88.64 per barrel, down $1.93 from Friday's close.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, heating oil dropped $0.0344 by midafternoon, hitting $2.473 per gallon. Natural gas, at $7.825 per million British thermal units, slipped $0.158.

At the gas pump, the average price was $3.010, down from Sunday's price of $3.015.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International.

U.S. energy prices fall in morning trading

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.

Oil prices gain slightly on unstable day

New York -- Crude oil prices wavered Friday but gained slightly after U.S. President George Bush revealed his stimulus plan for the economy.

Futures for February delivery were up 43 cents at $90.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile. Earlier, prices topped $91 but fell back.

Investors generally kept close watch on the stock market where prices also fluctuated and an early rally rapidly became another big loss.

Natural gas was off 0.13 cent at $7.95 per million British thermal units.

Heating oil was up 0.57 cent at $2.5092 a gallon. Reformulated gasoline blendstock rose 3.87 cents at $2.3055 a gallon.

U.S. motorists paid an average price of $3.033 a gallon for regular unleaded gasoline at the pump, compared with $3.044 on Thursday, the AAA Fuel Gauge Report said.

Ouch! That Bites!

You've probably read that food and energy prices rose 4.1% last year, but did you hear about these specific price hikes?

Energy commodities start down, close down

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.

Oil inventories up by 4.3 million barrels

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.

Energy commodities begin session down

New York -- Four energy commodities began Wednesday's trading session lower on the New York Mercantile Exchange with oil dropping to less than $91 a barrel.

Crude oil was off $1.03, trading for $90.87 a barrel in midmorning trading. Heating oil was down 0.0249 cents, at $2.5223 a gallon.

Gasoline was at $2.2818, off 0.0274 cents. Natural gas was trading at $8.121, down 0.075 cents.

At the pump, the average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline was $3.054 Wednesday, down from $3.061 reported Tuesday by the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International.