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Crude oil settles under $88

  |   Nov. 20, 2012 at 6:29 PM
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NEW YORK, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices settled under $88 per barrel Tuesday, easing back as Israel held off on launching a ground attack on the Gaza Strip.

Renewed tension between Israel and Hamas, which controls Gaza, jolted energy markets last week. It is possible the delayed attack could give way to a negotiated cease-fire, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was headed to the Middle East to push for a truce.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices topped $89 per barrel overnight, but settled at $87.34 per barrel by close of trading. Reformulated blendstock gasoline added 3.75 cents from Monday to $2.75 per gallon. Home heating oil prices added 2.67 cents to $3.0659 per gallon.

Natural gas prices shed 0.6 cents to $3.826 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline fell to $3.412 per gallon from Monday's $3.416, AAA said.

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