NEW YORK (AP) – The price of oil is falling Monday and giving back about half of last week’s gains. In midday trading, benchmark crude oil was down 99 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $90.87. Oil rose 2.1 percent last week.
Traders are brushing off some positive U.S. economic news. The Commerce Department says retail sales rose 1.1 percent last month. That follows a 1.2 percent increase in August. They were the largest gains in two years, driven by auto sales and the release of the iPhone5.
The focus instead is on weaker oil demand. On Friday, the International Energy Agency issued a new report predicting slower growth in demand for oil over the next five years. The agency also forecast that supplies will increase as the global economy struggles to grow. Oil lost finished down 21 cents on Friday.
Prices at the pump fell more than 2 cents over the weekend to $3.787 per gallon. A month ago, gas averaged $3.867.
Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service, said some markets around the U.S. are seeing the lowest wholesale or spot prices for gasoline since mid-July. If that trend holds, Kloza said, it could spell relief from stubbornly high gas prices for some Rust Belt cities as well as a few places in the South.
Wholesale gasoline futures traded in New York gave up 2 cents to $2.87 a gallon. Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, fell 8 cents to $113.52. Other futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange:
- Natural gas fell 10 cents to $3.51 per 1,000 cubic feet.
- Heating oil fell 3 cents to $3.19 a gallon.