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Oil prices little changed on mixed economic data

Tuesday, 16 Oct 2012 | 1:54 PM ET

NEW YORK -- Oil prices wavered between small gains and losses Tuesday, as traders mulled mixed data about the nation's slowly recovering economy.

The Labor Department said the consumer price index rose 0.6 percent last month, the same as in August, with inflation still in check.

Meanwhile the Federal Reserve said industrial production was barely higher last month, and factory output showed a decline in the July-September quarter. Weak activity in the nation's manufacturing sector generally means less demand for oil.

Benchmark U.S. crude was down 5 cents to $91.80 in New York shortly before 2 p.m.

Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, lost 27 cents to hit $114.13.

At the pump, the national average for a gallon of gas fell a little more than a cent from Monday, to $3.77.

Other futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange:

_ Heating oil fell a penny to $3.20 a gallon.

_ Natural gas lost 6 cents to $3.43 per 1,000 cubic feet.

_ Wholesale gasoline was down a penny at $2.84 a gallon.