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Oil prices retreat Thursday

  |   June 28, 2012 at 5:51 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 28 (UPI) -- West Texas Intermediate crude oil closed above $78 Thursday after reaching a low closer to $77 per barrel, as confidence in the economy remains weak.

Investors are looking for signs that leaders in Europe are making positive moves to contain the spreading debt crisis that has forced Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus to seek international assistance.

In New York, crude oil for August delivery retreated back under $80, where it has closed for seven of the past eight trading sessions.

WTI crude moved lower early in the session but regained 90 cents to reach $78.59 per barrel.

Home heating oil added 3.32 cents in late trading to reach $2.5804 per gallon.

Reformulated blendstock gasoline gained 0.51 cents to $2.4824 per gallon.

Natural gas for July delivery gained 5.2 cents to $2.774 per million British thermal units.

Consumers have benefited from the prolonged uncertainty in the oil market. At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline fell to $3.369 per gallon Thursday from Wednesday's $3.383, AAA said.

The Energy Information Administration said Wednesday the average price of gasoline fell for the 12th consecutive week, dropping 9.6 cents in the week ending Tuesday. AAA said the average price of gas was $3.636 per gallon a month ago and $3.551 per gallon in the same week of 2011.

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