Traders responded to signs of a political thaw in Washington, where gridlock has resulted in a partial government shutdown and threatens to derail the country's ability to pay its bills. If lawmakers cannot agree to raise the debt ceiling in a week, the Treasury Department has said, it would not have the cash on hand to avoid defaulting on some of its bills.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil added $1.31 to reach $102.92 per barrel. Reformulated blendstock gasoline prices added 7.33 cents to $2.6963 per gallon. Home heating oil gained 5.18 cents to $3.0692 per gallon. Natural gas added 5 cents to reach $3.73 per million British thermal units.
At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline dropped to $3.351 per gallon from Wednesday's $3.354, AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report said.
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