The price of oil showed a small gain Tuesday, as positive U.S. economic news provided some support while traders waited for the latest supply reports.
In New York, benchmark oil for August delivery rose 14 cents to end at $95.32 a barrel.
A trio of economic reports boosted both oil and stocks. The government said U.S. businesses ordered more long-lasting manufactured goods, including a surge in commercial aircraft orders. Readings on home prices and consumer confidence were also positive.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up more than 100 points in afternoon trading. Oil trading is often influenced by stock market trends, which can reflect the state of confidence in the economic outlook.
Traders are awaiting the weekly report on oil and gasoline supplies due out Wednesday from the Energy Department. The nation’s supply of crude oil is near a record level, while gasoline supplies remain high because of tepid demand.
Drivers are seeing some relief in gas prices. The price of a gallon fell a penny, to an average of $3.55. It’s dropped 8 cents in two weeks.
Brent crude, used to set prices for oil used by many U.S. refineries to make gasoline, rose 10 cents to end at $101.26 a barrel.
In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:
- Natural gas lost 9 cents to finish at $3.65 per 1,000 cubic feet.
- Heating oil rose less than a cent to end at $2.86 a gallon.
- Wholesale gasoline was unchanged at $2.73 a gallon.
Gold edged lower, even as most other metals prices rose. Energy and crop futures finished mixed.
Gold for August delivery fell $2 to $1,275.10 an ounce.
Silver for July delivery rose 3.3 cents to $19.526 an ounce. July platinum rose $21.40 to $1,350.50 an ounce, and September palladium rose $11.15 to $668.80 an ounce.
July copper rose 4.8 cents to $3.0725 a pound.
Crop prices were mixed. The actively traded contract for wheat delivered in September edged down 2.75 cents to $6.85 a bushel. Corn for December delivery fell 2 cents to $5.445 a bushel. Soybeans for November delivery edged up 5 cents to $12.785 a bushel.