Oil hits $100 per barrel

Other energy futures lose ground on the New York Mercantile Exchange

September 17, 2012
by Canadian Press

NEW YORK—The price of oil was holding steady around $99 a barrel September 17, after getting a boost last week from the Federal Reserve’s latest plan to spur the US economy. Benchmark crude slipped 5 cents to $98.95 in afternoon trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil rose 2.7 per cent last week.

The Fed’s plan, which includes keeping interest rates at extraordinarily low rates into 2015, gives investors the incentive to put their money into riskier assets like commodities. But the higher oil rises, the more analysts believe consumers will pull back on spending. Oil touched a high above $100 a barrel last week partly due to concerns that unrest in the Middle East over an anti-Islam film could trigger supply disruptions.

While higher oil prices tend to drive up US prices at the pump, the end of the summer driving season means less demand for gasoline. Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, fell 54 cents to $116.12 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange London. Other energy futures lost ground on the New York Mercantile Exchange:

  • Wholesale gasoline fell 2 cents to $2.99 a gallon;
  • Heating oil fell 3 cents to $3.21 a gallon; and
  • Natural gas lost 7 cents to $2.87 per 1,000 cubic feet.