Oil down slightly, market awaits demand outlook

Monday, June 10th, 2013 | Finance News

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil stalled Monday, after last week's 4 percent gain, as traders await the latest readings on oil supplies and updated forecasts for demand.

Benchmark oil for July delivery fell 12 cents to $95.91 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil rose $4.06, or 4.4 percent, last week and closed at $96.03 a barrel on Friday.

The latest U.S. employment report Friday showed the economy added 175,000 jobs in May — a steady pace that shows the recovery continues, but also indicates the Federal Reserve will not end its monetary stimulus just yet.

The market won't get another significant reading on the U.S. economy until Thursday, when retail sales for May are announced.

Before that, traders will see updated forecasts on global oil demand from OPEC, the U.S. Energy Department and the International Energy Agency, an umbrella group for the world's oil consuming nations.

The Energy Department also on Wednesday issues its weekly report on oil and fuel supplies, as well as demand for gasoline in the U.S. Last week's report of a bigger than expected drop in oil supplies helped boost oil prices.

At the gas pump, the average price of a gallon barely budged over the weekend. It's at $3.635, up about 2 cents for the month. Despite that steadiness, the range of prices across the country is wide. Gas average $3.22 a gallon is South Carolina. But drivers in Michigan are paying $4.22 on average, because refinery outages have created shortages. Michigan gas prices have risen 42 cents in a month.

Brent crude, a benchmark for many international oil varieties, fell 40 cents to $104.16 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline fell 1 cent to $2.86 a gallon.

— Heating oil fell less than 0.1 cent to $2.89 per gallon.

— Natural gas rose 2 cents to $3.85 per 1,000 cubic feet.