Unfounded rumors, such as one that a besieged Qaddafi plans to destroy Libya's oil wells, drove oil prices above $100 a barrel Wednesday before closing at $98.10. It all means higher gasoline prices for consumers.
A report that top oil producing nations wanted to get paid in currencies other than the dollar made Wall Street skittish Tuesday.
The US also hopes to establish a diplomatic presence in Tehran for the first time in 30 years, according to the Guardian newspaper.
Energy costs have become a driving force of inflation.
Drivers have been paying about 10 cents more for a gallon of gas since Dec. 31.