Oil Prices Rise as Traders Eye Mideast Conflict

Oil prices rose on Friday as investors monitored the fighting between Israel and militants in Gaza, and the effect it might have on oil supplies.

January benchmark crude futures rose by $1.03 to $86.90 per barrel in afternoon trading in New York. Brent crude, used to price many international varieties of oil, rose 53 cents to $108.54 per barrel in London.

Investors kept an eye on the impact the Middle East fighting could have on oil supplies. So far supplies have been ample. But they could be disrupted if the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza spreads and further destabilizes the region.

At the pump AAA said average gasoline prices in the U.S. fell by almost a penny to $3.43 per gallon compared to Thursday's prices.

In other energy futures trading:

  • Heating oil was unchanged at $2.97 per gallon.
  • Wholesale gasoline was unchanged at $2.70 per gallon.
  • Natural gas rose 7 cents to $3.89 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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