Late rally leaves oil prices virtually unchanged
Benchmark crude finished down a penny at $91.85 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The Associated Press
NEW YORK — A late-day surge left oil prices virtually unchanged Monday, erasing losses of more than 2 percent.
Earlier in the day, the focus was on weaker oil demand. Traders seemed to warm slowly to some positive U.S. economic news as the day went along. Higher U.S. stock prices may have also influenced the buying of oil.
The Commerce Department said Monday that retail sales rose 1.1 percent last month. That follows a 1.2 percent increase in August. They were the largest gains in two years, driven by auto sales and the release of the iPhone5.
The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average each rose about 0.7 percent.
Benchmark crude finished down a penny at $91.85 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, gained 79 cents to $114.40 a barrel.
In other energy futures trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange:
— Natural gas fell 12.5 cents to end at $3.486 per 1,000 cubic feet.
— Heating oil fell 1.5 cents to $3.209 a gallon.
__Wholesale gasoline futures gave up 4.25 cents to $2.85 a gallon.
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