Oil falls as US prepares to push Middle East peace

Oil falls ahead of US attempt to broker cease fire in Israel and Hamas conflict

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- The price of oil is falling a day after reaching its highest point in almost a month as worries about a possible disruption in Middle East crude supplies lessen.

Benchmark crude fell 68 cents to $88.60 Tuesday morning.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton heads to the Middle East on Tuesday in an attempt to contain the bloody conflict between Israel and Hamas. The trip marks the most direct U.S. engagement in the weeklong conflict.

On Monday, oil gained 2 percent and closed above $89 per barrel for the first time since Oct. 19.

Meanwhile, AAA said gas prices dropped slightly overnight. The national average is now $3.41 per gallon, down 26 cents from a month ago although still 5 cents more than this time last year.

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