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Crude oil back under $97

June 28, 2013 at 3:44 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, June 28 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices lost 49 cents to reach $96.56 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Friday.

Reformulated blendstock gasoline shifted lower, dropping 1.39 cents to $2.7142 per gallon. Home heating oil lost 3.2 cents to reach $2.856 per gallon.

Natural gas gave up 1 cent to $3.572 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline was $3.514, down from Thursday's $3.528, the AAA Fuel Gauge report said.

Commodity traders Friday took a cue from equity markets, which were mixed, suggesting investors have settled into new positions after reacting to U.S. Federal Reserve news for the past 10 days.

U.S. Federal Reserve officials have spread word this week the Fed is in no hurry to change monetary policy.

Commodity and equity markets reacted quickly to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's remarks last week concerning the central bank unwinding its $85 billion per month quantitative easing program.

New York Fed President William Dudley, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart and Jerome Powell, a Federal Reserve governor, made comments Thursday meant to calm market fears of a quick stimulus withdrawal.

Fed Gov. Jeremy Stein said Friday the central bank would take a cautious approach.

"My only point is that consumers and businesses who look to asset prices for clues about the future stance of monetary policy should take care not to over-interpret these movements," he said in remarks prepared for delivery at the Council on Foreign Relations.

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