Oil prices Dip on European Debt

Source:

"European debt problems overshadowed heightened U.S. confidence."

Oil prices dipped Tuesday as lingering European debt problems overshadowed a report that concluded Americans are feeling more confident about the economy.

Benchmark oil for January delivery slipped $0.60 to US$85.13 a barrel in early trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Since Nov. 1, it has traded between about $81 a barrel and $88 a barrel.

Meanwhile, pump prices edged lower overnight to US$2.854 for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service.

American gasoline prices have fallen nearly $0.02/gallon in the past week but remains nearly $0.23 more than a year ago.

In Canada, the average price for gasoline was just over C$1.06 per liter on Tuesday, up about half a cent from last week and about $0.07 from a year earlier, according to Gasbuddy.com.

Canadians have been somewhat protected from the rising price of crude oil over the past year due to the rising value of its currency, which has been supported by higher prices for many commodities that it exports including oil.

The U.S. dollar grew stronger against the loonie on Tuesday, however, after third-quarter economic growth in Canada came in weaker than expected. The greenback was also up against the euro, which is suffering from concerns about the heavy debts of European Union member countries.

Meanwhile, The Conference Board, a New York private research group, said its consumer confidence index rose to 43.3 in November, the highest level since June. It takes a level of 90 to indicate a healthy economy, which hasn't been approached since the recession began in December 2007.

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