Crude oil prices moved slightly higher in New York Thursday, but prices held under $87 per barrel after a barrage of economic data.
Manufacturing data showed U.S. factories in slow expansion and an improved Purchasing Managers' Index in China with factories close to breaking even.
On the East Coast in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, gasoline prices jumped up and down as immediate supply and demand questions were on the table, given the power outages, closed roads, production delays and forced days off imposed by the massive storm.
In addition, the storm left two refineries in the area, including the second-largest on the East Coast near Philadelphia, were impacted by flooding.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil for December delivery added 58 cents to reach $86.82 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Reformulated gasoline in recent trading added 0.14 cents to $2.635 a gallon. Home heating oil shed 0.02 cents to hit $3.033 a gallon.
Natural gas lost 1.5 cents to reach $3.684 per million British thermal units.
At the pump, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $3.507, down from Wednesday's $3.521, AAA reported.