Oil prices climb with budget deal

Jan. 2, 2013 at 6:50 PM

NEW YORK, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices hovered near $93 per barrel Wednesday in New York, energy prices jumping in reaction to a tax deal announced in Washington.

The reaction is largely one of relief, as Congress increased the tax rate for couples earning $450,000 or more per year, but left taxes low for the middle class.

The bill also dodges a default budget that was considered a "fiscal cliff," given the spending cuts and tax hikes were predicted to send the U.S. economy back into a recession.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for February delivery added 95 cents to $92.80 per barrel. Home heating oil for February added .92 cents to $3.041 a gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline added 3.61 cents to $2.7978 a gallon.

Natural gas prices held steady at $3.225 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, AAA reported the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline slipped to $3.291 per gallon from Tuesday's $3.292.

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