Crude oil price futures held under $105 per barrel Tuesday morning, as the tail is beginning to wag the dog in European energy markets.
With Europe predicted to skid into a double-dip recession, traders are viewing oil as having the potential to slow down Europe's manufacturing sector even further. Unemployment in eurozone ticked higher to 10.8 percent in February, Eurostat said this week. That is offsetting the pressure on prices put into place with the European Union agreeing to impose sanctions against Iran for its suspected nuclear weapons program.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, May delivery crude oil shed 59 cents to $104.64 per barrel. Home heating oil lost 0.11 cents to $3.2485 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline added 2.78 cents to $3.41 per gallon.
Natural gas prices added 0.8 cents to $2.16 per million British thermal units.
At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline dropped to $3.923 from Monday's $3.925, AAA said.