Money Matters - Simplified

Crude oil prices

Sensex up 684 points after US Fed announcement

Stocks and currencies in emerging markets led an Asian rally following the surprising decision by the US Federal Reserve to keep its massive stimulus programme intact. Asian stock markets alike Dalal Street's Sensex rose about 684 points making it a good rally Thursday.

Egypt turmoil triggers oil price hike

The ongoing political turbulence in Egypt has already shown its effect on the global economy, as the crude oil prices are surging.

Crude oil prices steady Wednesday

New York -- Crude oil prices held steady on the New York Mercantile Exchange overnight with equities mixed in Asia and Europe and the dollar index up 0.25 percent.

Traders are waiting for an afternoon report on U.S. energy stockpiles and keeping an eye on weather reports that presume a seasonal increase in a demand for heating oil.

January delivery light, sweet crude oil in New York added 2 cents overnight to $88.71 per barrel. Heating oil prices rose 0.38 cents to $2.474 per gallon. Reformulated gasoline blendstock prices lost 0.2 cents to $2.321 per gallon.

Henry Hub natural gas prices added 15.9 cents to $4.552 per million British thermal units.

Crude oil inventories drop in week

Washington -- U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 3.8 million barrels in the week ending Dec. 3, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Wednesday.

The agency said in the weekly report that crude inventories dropped to 355.9 million barrels during the week, with supplies remaining above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

Gasoline inventories rose by the same 3.8 million barrels to 214 million barrels and are near the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

Supplies of distillate fuels, which include heating oil, rose by 2.2 million barrels to 160.2 million barrels.

Inventories of finished gasoline and gasoline blending components rose during the week, the energy agency reported.

Crude oil drops under $89

New York -- Crude oil prices slid Tuesday after peaking above $90 per barrel for the second time in a week.

Prices reached $90.76 in overnight trading but lost ground as the dollar index rose 0.5 percent. U.S. equity markets started strong but closed flat as enthusiasm over a tax plan compromise announced by the White House faded by the close of trading.

The price of January light, sweet crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped $2.46 from the peak to $88.30. Heating oil prices lost 0.57 cents to $2.47 per gallon. Reformulated gasoline prices dropped 2.93 cents to $2.3124 per gallon.

Henry Hub natural gas prices shed 1.03 cents to $4.485 per million British thermal units.

Crude oil tops $90 per barrel briefly

New York -- Crude oil prices climbed above $90 per barrel for the second time in a week Tuesday, with prices settling down in early morning trading in New York.

Prices hit an overnight peak of $90.76 on the New York Mercantile Exchange with confidence rising as the White House announced a compromise tax bill that would extend the George W. Bush era tax cuts for all wage earners for two years. Along with the compromise between Republicans and the Obama administration, jobless benefits would be extended for 13 months for unemployed long-term.

The price of January delivery light, sweet crude settled lower at $89.36 by midmorning. Heating oil prices added 0.34 cents to $2.4791 per gallon.

Crude oil slides off of 2-year high

New York-- Crude oil prices topped $91 per barrel during the weekend before settling down Monday on hints the economy remains weak.

January delivery crude oil dropped from a 26-month high of $91.37 per barrel to $88.98, a 2.6 percent drop. Heating oil prices also fell, losing 1.81 cents from a prior settlement to $2.4693 per gallon.

Reformulated blendstock gasoline trended lower, losing 2 cents to $2.3321 per gallon. Henry Hub natural gas prices added 1.57 cents to $4.506 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline rose Monday from Sunday's $2.939 per gallon to $2.951, AAA said.

Crude oil hovers near $88

New York -- Crude oil prices hovered near $88 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Friday morning with little price movement.

January delivery light,sweet crude oil added 16 cents overnight to $88.01 per barrel. Heating oil prices gained 0.04 cents to $2.455 per gallon. Reformulated gasoline blendstock prices fell 1.93 cents to $2.2336 per gallon.

Henry Hub natural gas prices gained 2.6 cents to $4.369 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline reached $2.90 per gallon from Thursday's $2.879, AAA said.

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

Crude oil holds near $87 per barrel

New York -- Crude oil prices held steady near $87 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, 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 38 cents to $87.13 overnight. Heating oil prices gained 1.95 cents to $2.4251 per gallon. Reformulated gasoline blendstock prices picked up 3.73 cents to $2.3377 per gallon. Henry Hub natural gas prices gained 5.1 cents to $4.32 per million British thermal units.

Crude oil prices slide under $84

New York -- Crude oil prices lost ground Tuesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, dropping under $84 per barrel with the dollar index down 0.06 percent.

Oil traders are balancing out concerns of diminished expectations for growth in Europe given the ongoing debt crisis that resulted in a financial bailout for Ireland this week and indications China is considering policy adjustments to slow inflation.

The European Commission said Monday that growth in Europe was expected to be "muted" through 2012 with the gross domestic product gaining 1.75 percent in 2011 and 2 percent in 2012.