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Crude oil slides under $96

Sept. 18, 2012 at 5:57 PM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Crude oil's flirtation with $100 a barrel fell short when prices dropped under $96 per barrel Tuesday, as the legs went out from under Monday's rally.

After a run toward $100 per barrel Monday, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for October delivery dropped to $95.47 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Prices changed direction when the Obama administration said it would file a complaint with the World Trade Organization charging China with unfairly subsidizing its auto industry.

Fearing a trade war would escalate, traders pulled back from the rally that began last week with the Federal Reserve announcement that it would jump back into the bond market. A sober assessment of the global economy after the Fed announcement showed the market could not support $100 per barrel just yet.

Natural gas added 0.4 cents early to $2.869 per million British thermal unit. Home heating oil gained 1.24 cents to $3.1395 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline added 2.1 cents to $2.92 per gallon.

At the pump, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $3.859 per gallon, down from Monday's $3.862, AAA reported.

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