BANGKOK (AP) — The price of oil fell Monday as traders took profits following a recent run-up in prices. Benchmark oil for May delivery was down 36 cents to $96.87 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The contract gained 65 cents to close at $97.23 a barrel on Thursday. The market was closed Friday for the holiday. Oil gained more than $4 in recent sessions, driven by signs of strength in the U.S. economy. Higher prices motivated investors to cash in. “Oil prices pulled back some this morning primarily due to profit-taking. Prices rose last week based on strong performance in the equities market and also a weaker dollar,” said Victor Shum, energy analyst at Purvin & Gertz in Singapore.
In other energy futures trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange:
— Wholesale gasoline fell 0.4 cent to $3.106 a gallon.
— Heating oil was down 0.7 cent to $3.04 a gallon.
— Natural gas fell 3.4 cents to $3.99 per 1,000 cubic feet.