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Oil prices hold steady

Nov. 14, 2012 at 6:14 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices held steady above $86 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange despite reports of increased tension in the Middle East.

News of an Israeli assault on targets in Gaza, in which a top Hamas military official was killed, injected tension in the market. Prices had several reasons to go down, but those reasons were balanced out by news from Israel.

Equities fell again on Wall Street in the wake of weak economic data.

The International Energy Agency said Wednesday fourth quarter demand would slow by 290,000 barrels per day to 90.1 million bpd, "reflecting persistent weakness in Europe and the impact of Hurricane Sandy in the United States."

At the same time oil production from non-OPEC countries had rebounded by 840,000 barrels per day in October to 53.4 million bpd, IEA said.

Oil produced by Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries declined in the month but only 30,000 barrels per day to 31.5 million bpd, the report said.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil in New York lost 4 cents overnight to $85.34 per barrel. Reformulated blendstock gasoline added 0.45 cents in late trading to $2.6835 per gallon overnight. Home heating oil prices added 0.18 cents to $2.99 per gallon.

Natural gas prices gave up 2 cents to $3.746 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline rose to $3.443 per gallon from Tuesday's $3.44, AAA said.

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