NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil closed at the lowest level in eight months Thursday as traders worried about bulging supplies of crude oil and falling demand for gasoline.
Meanwhile, natural gas prices fell by 5 percent on forecasts for warmer than normal weather in the coming weeks.
Benchmark U.S. oil for February delivery fell 67 cents to close at $91.66 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price did rise back above $92 in electronic trading after the close, perhaps piggybacking on a move by U.S. stocks into positive territory.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Energy Department said supplies of gasoline rose by 6.2 million barrels last week, a jump of nearly 3 percent. Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill, said the data indicated that demand for gasoline was the lowest in a year. At the same time, U.S. production of crude oil is the highest in more than 25 years, and supplies "are near the upper limit of the average range for this time of year," the Energy Department said.
As of the close, oil is down nearly 7 percent so far this year.