Crude futures inched higher Thursday as the dollar weakened after Moody's announced the U.S. credit rating may undergo scrutiny for a possible downgrade.
Light, sweet crude futures gained 11 cents settling at $100.40 a barrel. Prices fluctuated between $98.46 and $100.90 Thursday. The greenback fell after Moody's Investors Service said it may review lowering the U.S. government's credit rating if Congress does not produce a deal soon to increase the country's debt limit.
For the week ending May 27, U.S. oil inventories rose by 2.9 million barrels, according to the Department of Energy. At 373.8 million barrels, stockpiles reached their highest level since May 2009. The weekly report was published a day later than normal due to the Memorial Day holiday on Monday.
Natural gas for July delivery rose 16.5 cents Thursday, ending the trading session at $4.79 per thousand cubic feet. The Energy Department reported an increase of 83 billion cubic feet in U.S. gas stockpiles, below analyst expectations. The futures price peaked at $4.86, the highest since Jan. 24, and bottomed out at $4.625.
Meanwhile, gasoline futures lost nearly a penny Thursday to settle at $2.97 a gallon. The intraday range for gasoline was $2.925 to $3.00.
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