The price of crude oil slipped Thursday morning, but held above $96 per barrel in New York as equities made gains in Europe.
The Energy Information Administration said Wednesday crude oil stockpiles rose by 3.3 million to 385.9 million barrels, which will serve to keep gains in check. But traders are also looking for signs of trouble in the eurozone, where political instability in Italy and bailout uncertainty in Cyprus are making headlines.
The undertone of the market, however, is upbeat, as equities in the United States have trended higher since the start of the year.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for May delivery shed 21 cents to $96.55 per barrel.
Gasoline prices dropped 3.19 cents to $3.0799 per gallon. Home heating oil gave up 2.16 cents to $3.0207 a gallon.
Natural gas dropped 3.9 cents to reach $4.045 per million British thermal units.
At the pump, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $3.645 Thursday, down from Wednesday's $3.65, the AAA Fuel Gauge Report said.