Crude Oil, Gasoline Prices Fall; Metals End Mixed


Crude oil and wholesale gasoline prices fell Wednesday after the U.S. reported a big increase in supplies.

Oil for January delivery dropped $1.07 to close at $97.44 Wednesday. January gasoline fell 2 cents to $2.66 a gallon.

The Energy Department reported that gasoline supplies rose 6.7 million barrels in the week ended Dec. 6, while distillate supplies increased by 4.5 million barrels.

Both increases were more than three times what analysts were expecting.

In other energy trading, heating oil was flat at $3.02 a gallon and natural gas rose 10 cents to $4.34 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Metals prices ended mixed.

February gold fell $3.90, or 0.3 percent, to $1,257.20 an ounce. March silver rose four cents, or 0.2 percent, to $20.356 an ounce.

Copper for March delivery rose 2.85 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $3.295 a pound. January platinum fell $3.50, or 0.3 percent, to $1,385.20 an ounce, and palladium for March delivery rose 10 cents, less than 0.1 percent, to $738.55 an ounce.

In agricultural futures, March wheat rose two cents, or 0.3 percent, to $6.4075 a bushel. January soybeans rose 5.75 cents, 0.4 percent, to $13.44 a bushel and March corn rose 3.25 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $4.3925 a bushel.

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