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Natural gas jumps nearly 4 percent as power comes back after Hurricane Irene; oil flat at $89
NEW YORK (AP) ' The price of natural gas is surging nearly 4 percent as lights flicker back on in the East following major outages caused by Hurricane Irene.
The storm knocked out power to 9.4 million homes and businesses over the weekend. By Wednesday more than three-quarters of those customers were reconnected to the grid. The recovery will boost energy demand along the Eastern Seaboard, increasing the load on natural gas-fired generators.
Natural gas prices jumped 13 cents, about 3.4 percent, to $4.04 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude rose 20 cents to $89.11 per barrel in New York, and Brent crude added 75 cents at $114.77 in London.
Retail gasoline prices increased less than a penny to a national average of $3.617 per gallon.