Crude oil ends day above $74 a barrel

Dec. 22, 2009 at 5:26 PM
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NEW YORK, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices rebounded from lower intraday trading to top $74 a barrel Tuesday on the U.S. Mercantile Exchange.

Oil traded lower earlier during the session after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed not to change output quotas and as data on gross domestic product showed the U.S. economy grew slower than anticipated, MarketWatch.com reported.

Crude oil prices picked up 68 cents before closing at $74.40 a barrel on the exchange, after falling as low as $72.72 earlier during the day.

"We're seeing a little bit of a bounce, although the dollar is trading higher," Dan Flynn, energy trader at PFGBest Research, told MarketWatch. "People could be trading into the inventories (data)."

OPEC had agreed to set their quotas at 24.845 million barrels a day starting from the beginning of the year.

Gasoline closed up 1.97 cents at $1.8888 a gallon. Heating oil rose slightly, 0.0142 cent, to $1.9486 a gallon, and natural gas rose 4.6 cents to $5.715 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, the national average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline dropped to $2.585 per gallon Tuesday, down from Monday's $2.59, AAA said.

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