Crude Oil Prices Edge Lower


"Oil dropped under $107/barrel as the People's Bank of China moved to tighten lending."

Crude oil prices edged lower Tuesday morning in New York, dropping under $107 per barrel as the People's Bank of China moved to tighten lending.

China's central bank said it would raise the reserve requirements for lenders in the latest of a series of steps meant to curb inflation.

Oil traders also reacted to Monday's report from Standard & Poor's that lowered the U.S. credit rating from AAA with a stable outlook to AAA with a negative outlook, warning that lawmakers in Washington were unlikely to make substantial progress on the U.S. deficit until after the 2012 national election.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, May delivery West Texas Intermediate crude oil shed 45 cents to $106.67 per barrel. Home heating oil lost 4.63 cents to $3.1365 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline lost 4.88 cents to $3.204 per gallon.

Henry Hub natural gas prices headed higher, adding 7.9 cents to $4.217 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline rose to $3.835 per gallon from Monday's $3.833, AAA said.

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