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Crude Prices Pass $145

Oil hits another record in the New York futures market before pulling back a bit as the U.S. dollar rallies. Energy stocks are mixed, and natural gas futures are flat.

Crude oil futures soared past $145 a barrel for the first time ever Thursday before a bounce in the U.S. dollar cut into the gains.

Recently, West Texas crude was up 73 cents at $144.30 a barrel, while Brent futures were adding 64 cents at $144.90 a barrel. Reformulated gasoline was unchanged at $3.56 a gallon, heating oil was up 2 cents at $4.09 a gallon, and natural gas futures were flat at $13.37 per million British thermal units.

Energy futures in the U.S. tend to stay firm ahead of holidays, as traders are usually unwilling to expose themselves for a long weekend to geopolitical strife, infrastructure breakdowns or other threats that can leave oil supplies unbalanced.

Oil had its earlier surge dented by an advance in the U.S. dollar, which climbed against the euro and the yen. The U.S. Dollar index, which measures the value of the greenback against a basket of global currencies, was up 0.7% at 72.53. Any appreciation in the dollar tends to drive oil prices downward.

Meanwhile, activity was slow in U.S. stock markets with the New York Stock Exchange having a half-day session of trading leading into the Fourth of July holiday, and energy shares were mixed.

BP

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was gaining 0.7% at $66.03,

ConocoPhillips

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was fractionally lower at $90.59, and

Exxon Mobil

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was up 0.6% at $88.01.

The

U.S. Oil

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ETF was down 0.3%.