Oil Down Slightly, Market Awaits Demand Outlook

NEW YORK (AP) -- Oil stalled Monday, after last week's 4 percent gain, as traders await the latest readings on oil supplies and updated forecasts for demand.

Benchmark oil for July delivery fell 26 cents to close at $95.77 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil rose $4.06, or 4.4 percent, last week and closed at $96.03 a barrel on Friday.

Traders are waiting for updated forecasts on global oil demand. OPEC and the U.S. Energy Department issue their monthly reports Tuesday, while the International Energy Agency, an umbrella group for the world's oil-consuming nations, gives its update Wednesday.

The Energy Department also comes out with its weekly report on oil and fuel supplies, as well as demand for gasoline in the U.S. Last week's report of a bigger than expected drop in oil supplies helped boost oil prices.

At the gas pump, the average price of a gallon of gasoline barely budged over the weekend. It's at $3.635, up about 2 cents so far in June. Despite that steadiness, the range of prices across the country is wide. Gas average $3.22 a gallon in South Carolina. But drivers in Michigan are paying $4.22 on average, because refinery outages have created gasoline shortages. Michigan gas prices have risen 42 cents in a month.

Brent crude, a benchmark for many international oil varieties, fell 61 cents to $103.95 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

  • Wholesale gasoline slipped 2 cents to $2.85 a gallon.
  • Heating oil fell less than 1 cent to $2.88 per gallon.
  • Natural gas dropped 3 cents to $3.80 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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