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Crude oil jumps above $108

March 1, 2012 at 6:03 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, March 1 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices rose Thursday after the U.S. government said supplies had become "increasingly tight."

In an assessment of the market issued every two months, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said "the world oil market has become increasingly tight over the first two months of this year."

"The world has experienced a number of supply interruptions in the last two months, including production drops in South Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and the North Sea. Both the United States and the European Union have acted to tighten sanctions against Iran, including measures with both immediate and future effective dates," the EIA said.

Equities rose in New York Thursday and a strong performance in equities hints at stronger demand. The U.S. Commerce Department said Thursday that consumer spending rose 0.2 percent in January. The U.S. Labor Department said first-time unemployment claims fell by 2,000 to 351,000 in the week ending Saturday.

April delivery West Texas Intermediate crude prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange spiked at $110.55 per barrel Thursday then settled down at $108.55, up $2 from Wednesday. Home heating oil shed 1.79 cents in late trading to $3.2574 per gallon. Reformulated gasoline gained 3.17 cents to $3.32 per gallon.

Henry Hub natural gas prices shed 1.68 cents to $2.448 per million British thermal units.

The national average price of unleaded gasoline climbed to $3.738 per gallon from Wednesday's $3.731 per gallon, AAA said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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