Crude oil prices, which seem to have stuck the landing, holding between $88 and $92 per barrel since mid-July, remained in place Tuesday morning.
Monday's lack of major economic reports and stagnant markets on Wall Street provided the inertia. Traders have expectations the European Central Bank will begin purchasing bonds from struggling eurozone countries, but that may already be priced into the market. A push from meat producers to have ethanol mandates for gasoline relaxed due to a harsh summer drought is presumably weeks or months away from an administrative decision.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices were on an upward slope on the New York Mercantile Exchange with September delivery contracts adding 31 cents to $90.09 per barrel. Reformulated blendstock gasoline lost 0.049 cents to $2.8135 per gallon. Home heating oil slipped to $2.8719 per gallon, off 0.95 cents.
Natural gas was at $3.171 per million British thermal units, off 4.3 cents.
At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline rose slightly to $3.50 per gallon from Monday's $3.486, AAA said.