Washington is gridlocked on budget issues, with Republicans using the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip. With no budget agreement in sight, it appeared the government may have to stop paying some of its bills, which could jolt commodity markets in the short term.
On the New York Oil Mercantile Exchange Monday, crude oil dropped 44 cents to reach $102.43 per barrel. Reformulated blendstock gasoline prices dropped 4.15 cents to $2.6347 per gallon. Home heating oil gave up 1.91 cents to $2.971 per gallon. Natural gas shed 3 cents to reach $3.56 per million British thermal units.
At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline fell to $3.399 per gallon from Sunday's $3.405, AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report said.
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