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Oil Prices Fluctuate Today After Reaching $143 a Barrel

June 30, 2008

NEW YORK --- The price of crude oil fluctuated Monday, June 30, surging past $143 a barrel for the first time before declining again, the Associated Press reported.

Oil supply worries, combined with Middle East tensions and a weak U.S. dollar, continue to drive the price of oil to new highs. But the price retreated somewhat after the Chicago Purchasing Managers' index of Midwest manufacturing beat estimates and the dollar responded by rising against the euro, AP reported.

Light, sweet crude for August delivery rose 10 cents to $140.31 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In early electronic trading, the contract hit a record $143.67.

On Friday, crude futures hit a record $142.99 a barrel in New York before falling to $140.21.

"Oil is being used as a flight to quality and hedge against the dollar and geopolitical risk," Phil Flynn, an energy analyst at Alaron Trading Corp. in Chicago, told AP. "It pulled back some when PMI came in better than expected and the dollar is hanging in there right now."

Meanwhile, retail gasoline reached a new national average of $4.086 a gallon, according to a survey of stations by AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and Wright Express.

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