Crude oil prices held to less than $88 per barrel Wednesday but headed higher in a week with trading heavily influenced by tension in the Middle East. Egypt said Palestinians and Israel had agreed to a cease-fire after a flare-up of violence that included a bus bomb in Tel Aviv Wednesday that wounded at least 21 people. Crude oil prices dropped tentatively as the cease-fire was announced, but it will likely take time for the calm to be convincing.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices headed higher, adding 85 cents to reach $87.64 per barrel. Reformulated blendstock gasoline shed 0.92 in late trading to $2.7133 per gallon. Home heating oil prices gave up 2.94 cents to $3.0518 per gallon. Natural gas prices shed 0.8 cents to $3.895 per million British thermal units. At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline rose to $3.426 per gallon from Tuesday’s $3.412, AAA said.