Oil Contracts Virtually Unchanged

Oil Contracts Virtually Unchanged

Oil prices finished about where they began, after jumping more than $2 earlier on reports of lower U.S. oil stockpiles and an Iranian missile test.

Light, sweet crude for August delivery rose a penny to settle at $136.05 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, but prices shifted between positive and negative territory as traders parsed details of the weekly inventories report following its midmorning release.

Retail gasoline prices in the U.S. hovered at a record high just shy of $4.11 a gallon for the third straight day, according to auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and Wright Express. Diesel prices at the pump rose by more than half a penny to a new high of $4.813 a gallon.

In other Nymex trade, heating oil futures fell 3.14 cents to $3.8516 a gallon, while gasoline futures lost 1.77 cents to settle at $3.3808 a gallon. Natural gas futures dropped 36.2 cents to settle at $12.006 per 1,000 cubic feet.

August Brent crude rose 15 cents to settle at $136.58 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

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