Europe appears poised to expand the European Financial Stability Facility, an international aid package meant to help Greece and other countries avoid default.
Finland passed the measure Wednesday. Austria is expected to pass the measure Friday. Austria, Cyprus, Estonia, Malta, the Netherlands and Slovakia also must pass the measure, which would be killed with one failed vote.
Legally, Germany's vote counts for no more than any other but psychologically it has a large impact as Germany has the largest economy in Europe.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange Thursday, West Texas Intermediate crude oil added 98 cents to reach $83.12 per barrel. Home heating oil prices rose 2.65 cents to $2.8531 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline added 3.16 cents to $2.5902 per gallon. Henry Hub natural gas prices gained 1.8 cents to $3.765 per million British thermal units.
At the retail level, the national average price of unleaded gasoline dropped 1 cent from Wednesday's price to $3.455 per gallon, AAA said.
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