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Oil ends up slightly at $86.28 despite storm threat

Forecasters are tracking a huge storm they call 'Frankenstorm' that could force refineries to close and demand to drop if residents are forced to stay home during the bad weather.

The Associated Press

10/26/2012

Oil took a roller-coaster ride Friday, rising then falling then rising slightly as data showed the U.S. economy is muddling along while the East Coast prepares for a potentially damaging storm. Benchmark crude ended up 23 cents to finish at $86.28 per barrel.

Heating oil rose 3.57 cents to finish at $3.0978 per gallon while gasoline rose 2.27 cents to finish at $2.6991 per gallon.

Natural gas fell 3.4 cents to finish at $3.40 per 1,000 cubic feet and on the ICE Futures exchange in London:

Brent crude rose $1.06 to finish at $109.55 per barrel.

The market eyed a massive storm heading for the East Coast with the potential to force refinery closures and delays in import deliveries.

The pre-Halloween hybrid weather monster that federal forecasters call "Frankenstorm" is looking more ominous by the hour for the East Coast, and utilities and local governments are getting ready.

Meteorologists expect a natural horror show of high wind, heavy rain, extreme tides and maybe snow to the west beginning early Sunday, peaking with the arrival of Hurricane Sandy on Tuesday and lingering past Halloween on Wednesday.

That could force refineries to close and demand to drop if residents are forced to stay home during the bad weather.

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