NEW YORK — Oil prices got a boost from positive economic indicators and worries about terrorist bombings in Moscow. Benchmark crude for May delivery jumped $2.17 to settle at $82.17 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
PFG analyst Phil Flynn said, “Because Russia is a major oil producer, there are fears that there could be more attacks in the future,’’ which could cramp oil supply from the country. Flynn said traders reacted emotionally and demand is still the key factor. “I think more than anything oil is going back up on increased demand expectations and basically hopes that the situation in Europe is under control,’’ he said.
Energy analyst Stephen Schork said he wasn’t surprised by the crude price jump, given the news from Moscow, the weaker dollar, and “end-of-quarter book-squaring.’’
Gasoline pump prices edged down slightly for motorists gearing up for Passover, Easter, and spring break road trips.
Nationwide average retail prices shed less than a penny overnight to $2.80 a gallon. Pump prices are 9.7 cents higher than a month ago and 75.5 cents more expensive than the same time last year, according to AAA.