NEW YORK, April 8 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices soared Friday, topping $113 per barrel as concerns over a government shutdown and inflation dominated financial news.
The dollar index gave up 0.97 percent, pushing commodities higher. Gold closed at a record $1,476.40 per troy ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Silver closed at $40.61 per ounce as investors priced out of the gold market sought refuge elsewhere.
Despite a steady increase in U.S crude oil inventories, traders continued to fear repercussions of a prolonged conflict in Libya. The dollar weakened as Democrats and Republicans remained deadlocked over the 2011 budget, potentially triggering the first government shutdown in 15 years.
Crude oil prices climbed, adding $2.75 or 2.4 percent to reach $113.05 per barrel. Home heating oil on the exchange added 11.9 cents to $3.325 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline added 8.22 cents to $3.2687 per gallon.
Henry Hub natural gas prices shed 2.3 cents to $4.034 per million British thermal units.
At the retail level, the national average price of unleaded gasoline rose to $3.739 per gallon, up from Thursday's $3.725, AAA said.
Illustrating the recent accelerated pace of price increases at the pump, gasoline prices have risen 12 cents in the past week and 88.3 cents in the past year.