By Dan Strumpf
NEW YORK--U.S. oil futures finished nearly unchanged Thursday, pausing following a three-day sell-off, though gasoline futures rallied sharply on concerns about supply shortages.
Light, sweet crude for October delivery settled 11 cents, or 0.1%, lower at $91.87 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That's the front-month contract's lowest finish since Aug. 3, following a plunge of about $7 over the previous three sessions, one of the steepest sell-offs in recent memory.
With the contract expiring at the close of trading, and the more heavily traded November contract settled 12 cents, or 0.1%, higher at $92.42 a barrel. Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange recently traded $1.76, or 1.6%, higher at $109.95 a barrel.
Gasoline futures rose nearly 3%, meanwhile, after a refinery fire was reported in Venezuela.
"You've got these reports of shortages, and the products are certainly finding strength in that," said Stephen Schork, president of The Schork Group, a trading advisory firm.
Front-month October reformulated gasoline blendstock, or RBOB, settled 7.54 cents, or 2.7%, higher at $2.9040 a gallon. October heating oil settled rose 5.35 cents, or 1.8%, to $3.0975 a gallon.
More information on settlements and highs and lows for futures on Nymex and ICE platforms can be found by searching for the following headlines:
Nymex Light Crude Oil Close
Nymex Harbor RBOB Gasoline Close
Nymex Heating Oil Close
ICE Brent Crude Oil Close
ICE Gas Oil Close
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