Oil Gains 40 Cents a Barrel

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of gasoline is the lowest in nearly two years, an early holiday gift for U.S. drivers.

The nationwide average for gas is now $3.21 a gallon (3.8 liters). It hasn't been that low since December 2011. Five states — Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas — have averages below $3 a gallon.

Gas has fallen 38 cents since early September, a period in which oil prices declined by about $14 a barrel. In addition, a relatively calm hurricane season has meant no major storm-related disruptions at the nation's big refineries.

Meanwhile, the price of oil rose 40 cents Friday to close at $94.60 a barrel. Encouraging data on U.S. employment was offset by the possibility of a loosening of sanctions against Iran by the West.

A possible sign that demand for oil could increase came from China, where October trade data showed growth in overall imports accelerating. But overall, the backdrop of ample supplies and muted demand, which has driven a monthlong slide in the oil price, is expected to keep a lid on markets.

Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil, rose $1.66 to $105.12 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

  • Wholesale gasoline added 5 cents to $2.55 a gallon.
  • Heating oil gained 3 cents to $2.87 a gallon.
  • Natural gas advanced 4 cents to $3.56 per 1,000 cubic feet.


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