Money Matters - Simplified

Crude oil holds near $87 per barrel

New York -- Crude oil prices held steady near $87 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, as the European Central Bank kept lending rates unchanged.

The ECB left its bank-to-bank lending rate at 1 percent, as investors kept an eye on the ongoing debt crisis in Europe.

In New York, January delivery light, sweet crude prices added 38 cents to $87.13 overnight. Heating oil prices gained 1.95 cents to $2.4251 per gallon. Reformulated gasoline blendstock prices picked up 3.73 cents to $2.3377 per gallon. Henry Hub natural gas prices gained 5.1 cents to $4.32 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline rose sharply, adding 1.5 cents from Wednesday's $2.864 per gallon to reach $2.879, AAA said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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