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updated: 10/26/2012 10:53 AM

Oil falls as massive storm aims for East Coast

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Associated Press

The price of oil is down slightly as the market eyes a massive storm heading for the East Coast with the potential to force refinery closures and delays in import deliveries.

Benchmark oil fell 9 cents to $85.96 per barrel Friday.

Forecasters expect the so-called "Frankenstorm" to hit the East Coast beginning early Sunday with heavy rain, winds and perhaps snow lingering into Halloween. That could force refineries to close and demand to drop if residents are forced to stay home during the bad weather.

Meanwhile, the U.S. economy grew at a slightly faster annual rate from July through September but the pace was too weak to increase hiring.

At the pump, AAA says the national average price for gasoline fell 2.4 cents overnight to $3.575 per gallon.

In other energy futures trading in New York:

-- Natural gas fell 1.7 cents to $3.417 per 1,000 cubic feet.

-- Wholesale gasoline fell 1 cent to $2.622 a gallon.

-- Heating oil fell 1.1 cents to $3.035 a gallon.

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