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Oil, gas prices fall after US acts to boost supply

Gas line
About 50 people wait in line to buy gas for cars and generators in Neptune, N.J., Friday. The reopening of New York Harbor and the easing of restrictions on oil tankers holds out the promise of more supply reaching the stricken area.TOM MIHALEK / Reuters

Gas and oil prices fell more than 2 percent on Friday after Washington issued a waiver allowing foreign tankers to bring fuel to the East Coast from U.S. ports, holding out some promise of relief from supply disruptions caused by superstorm Sandy. 

Brent crude fell for a fifth day and posted a third consecutive weekly loss as the dollar strengthened on support from a better-than-expected October jobs report and worries about the Japanese economy. 

Gasoline prices slumped as oil tankers and pipelines supplying New Jersey and the New York Harbor restored more operations that had been affected by Sandy. 

Related: New York Harbor reopens, bringing hope to the fuel-hungry

The U.S. government temporarily waived Jones Act restrictions on tankers carrying fuel from the Gulf Coast refining hub to the storm-ravaged Northeast, increasing the available fleet of tankers to bring fuel. 

"I think economic uncertainty and next week's (U.S.) elections are weighing on oil prices. You also have the statement that the Jones Act is going to be waived for a week, suggesting some supplies are going to return," said analyst Gene McGillian at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. 

The waiver allows foreign tankers to carry fuel to the Northeast from other U.S. ports. Normally only U.S.-flagged ships are permitted to go between domestic ports. 

Brent December crude fell $2.49 to settle at $105.68 a barrel, the lowest settlement since early August. U.S.  crude fell $2.23 to settle at $84.86 a barrel, the lowest settlement since early July. 

Gasoline futures for December delivery dropped 6 cents to settle at $2.5736 a gallon.