Crude oil prices held above $88 per barrel Tuesday, easing back as Israel held off on launching a ground attack on the Gaza Strip.
Renewed tension between Israel and Hamas, which controls Gaza, jolted energy markets last week. It is possible the delayed attack could give way to a negotiated cease-fire, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is headed to the Middle East to discuss a possible truce.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices topped $89 per barrel overnight, but settled at $88.48 Tuesday morning. Reformulated blendstock gasoline shed 2.11 cents from Monday's closing price to $2.7409 per gallon. Home heating oil prices added 0.54 cents to $3.0805 per gallon.
Natural gas prices added 4.6 cents to $3.765 per million British thermal units.
At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline fell to $3.412 per gallon from Monday's $3.416, AAA said.