Mounting expectations that Ireland will accept a bank bailout from the European Union caused the greenback to weaken, causing December crude oil futures to end the day higher Thursday.
Oil rose $1.41 to settle at $81.85 a barrel. After some reluctance this week, Irish government officials on Thursday confirmed that they were pursuing a loan from the EU to bolster the country's banking system. The Irish government's shifting position in turn provided some comfort to other EU economies grappling with their own debt crises. Moreover, it helped the euro to reverse recent losses and gain 0.8 percent against the dollar.
Front-month crude traded within a range from $80.44 to $82.35 Thursday.
Buoyed by the prospect of a busier Thanksgiving travel period this year, along with low East Coast inventories, gasoline surged more than three percent to settle at $2.23 a gallon. December gasoline traded from $2.16 to $2.24.
Natural gas for December delivery fell two cents to end the day at $4.01 per thousand cubic feet. The futures price fluctuated from $3.85 to $4.04.
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