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Midday oil hovers near $102 as U.S. deadline looms

Benchmark crude for November delivery was up 35 cents to $102.37 a barrel in midday trading in New York.

The Associated Press


NEW YORK  — Oil hovered near $102 a barrel Monday amid alternating hope and uncertainty about the looming deadline for U.S. lawmakers to reach an agreement over the government's borrowing limit and shutdown.

Benchmark crude for November delivery was up 35 cents to $102.37 a barrel in midday trading in New York. The contract traded below $102 for much of the morning but rose along with the U.S. stock market around midday.

Brent crude, the benchmark used to price international crudes used by many U.S. refineries, was down $1.03 to $110.25 per barrel in London.

The price of oil "continues to gyrate around speculation and rumor regarding the shutdown of the U.S. government," wrote energy analyst Stephen Schork in a report.

The price has swung back and forth for days as lawmakers try to resolve an impasse that left the government partially closed and the markets worried about the U.S. defaulting on its debt for the first time.

Some traders expect the price of oil to fall soon, however, because supplies appear to be plentiful. In its latest quarterly oil market report, the International Energy Agency predicted strong growth in non-OPEC supplies of crude oil, easily outpacing demand growth next year. The Paris-based IEA also said Friday that the United States would overtake Russia next year as the largest non-OPEC producer of liquid fuels.

In other energy futures trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange:

— Wholesale gasoline remained unchanged at $2.67 a gallon.

— Natural gas rose 1 cent to $3.79 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil fell less than a penny to $3.03 a gallon.

AP writer Pablo Gorondi contributed to this report from Budapest.

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