BUSINESS

Oil recovers losses, finishes a little higher, as commodities and stocks gain back ground

04/16/2013 09:12 EDT | Updated 06/16/2013 05:12 EDT
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Oil fell as low as US$86 a barrel on Tuesday before recovering and finishing slightly higher.

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude settled at US$88.72 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 1 cent. Crude was down almost 3 per cent yesterday, part of a broad sell-off in commodities that pushed gold to its biggest one-day drop in 30 years.

Gold and other commodities regained some ground on Tuesday, and the stock market bounced back from its worst daily decline since November.

Meanwhile, the dollar weakened against the euro and the yen. That made oil, which is traded in dollars, more appealing to investors using foreign currency.

Brent crude, which is used to price oil used by many U.S. refiners to make gasoline, fell 72 cents to finish at US$99.91 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London. Brent hasn't traded below US$100 a barrel since July.

Lower oil prices are making gasoline more affordable. The national average price for a gallon of regular is now US$3.52. That's down 17 cents from a month ago and 39 cents lower than at this time last year.

In other futures trading on the Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline rose 2 cents to end at US$2.78 a gallon (3.79 litres).

— Heating oil dropped 2 cents to finish at US$2.81 a gallon.

— Natural gas rose 2 cents to end at US$4.16 per 1,000 cubic feet.

(TSX:ECA), (TSX:IMO), (TSX:SU), (TSX:HSE), (NYSE:BP), (NYSE:COP), (NYSE:XOM), (NYSE:CVX), (TSX:CNQ), (TSX:TLM), (TSX:COS.UN), (TSX:CVE)

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Pamela Sampson in Bangkok and Pablo Gorondi in Budapest contributed to this report.