Crude oil prices climb Monday

Sept. 26, 2011 at 8:26 PM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices rose above $81 per barrel Monday, following gains made in equity markets in New York.

Crude prices dropped about $6 last week when stocks took a dive on concerns about debt issues in Europe and a stimulus effort from the U.S. Federal Reserve that fell short of its goal.

The Fed announced last week it would sell $400 billion it holds in short-term securities and buy an equal amount of long-term securities to keep the size of its portfolio intact, but the move put downward pressure on long-term interest rates -- and the announcement sparked a global sell-off as the Fed's assessment of the recovery was dour and the program was deemed insufficient to turn things around.

Stocks rebounded Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average gaining back more than a third of what it lost last week, when it gave up more than 500 points.

Oil traders took the cue from equities Monday. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for November delivery added $1.15 to reach $81.39 per barrel. Home heating oil added 2.45 cents from a recent settlement to $2.8275 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline gained 2.46 cents to $2.553 per gallon.

Henry Hub natural gas prices added 0.2 cents to $3.784 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline dropped to $2.493 per gallon from Sunday's $3.505, AAA said.

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