Oil falls, gas rises at trading close

July 14, 2009 at 6:10 PM
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NEW YORK, July 14 (UPI) -- Crude oil futures reversed field, closing down for Tuesday's U.S. commodity trading, with the per-barrel price falling 17 cents to $59.52.

Demand concerns were raised by a U.S. Commerce Department reported that U.S. retail sales rose in June but the increase was tempered by weakness in several sectors.

"I do not think that the economic news was exciting enough to keep the buyers interested," Phil Flynn, vice president at futures trading firm PFGBest Research, told Marketwatch.

Also released Tuesday was report by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, saying global oil demand will fall by 1.6 million barrels a day in 2009 from a year ago. It also said the cartel boosted it production in June for the third straight month.

Gasoline gained 0.87 cent to close at $1.6466 a gallon and heating oil ended trading up 0.81 cent, or $1.5119 a gallon.

Natural gas climbed 16.6 cents to $3.429 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, the national average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline was $2.517 Tuesday, down from the $2.529 average on the previous day, AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report said.

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