MARKET WATCH: Oil prices continue slow climb

Oil prices generally continued a relatively slow climb Apr. 22 with front-month crude up 0.9% in the New York futures market and North Sea Brent closing above $100/bbl.

Marc Ground at Standard New York Securities Inc., the Standard Bank Group, said Apr. 23, “After flirting with the $100/bbl resistance level overnight, Brent lost the battle during Asian trading hours, as a weak Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp. flash manufacturing purchasing manager's index reinforced concerns raised by last week’s disappointing gross domestic product number.”

He said, the market might be anxious regarding what he calls the “so-called soft landing, for China’s economy. The first quarter downturn has perhaps got many thinking that further downside is in the offing.”

Energy prices

The May contract for benchmark US sweet, light crudes rose 75¢ to $88.76/bbl Apr. 22 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The June contract gained 92¢ to $89.19/bbl. On the US spot market, West Texas Intermediate at Cushing, Okla., also was up 75¢ to $88.76/bbl.

Heating oil for May delivery increased 2.18¢ to $2.81/gal on NYMEX. Reformulated stock for oxygenate blending for the same month dipped 0.3¢ but closed essentially unchanged at a rounded $2.77/gal/

The May natural gas contract fell 14.1¢ to $4.27/MMbtu on NYMEX. On the US spot market, gas at Henry Hub, La., was down 4.5¢ to $4.23/MMbtu.

In London, the June IPE contract for Brent traded as high as $101.04/bbl before closing at $100.39/bbl, up 74¢ for the day. Gas oil for May increased $4.25 to $836.75/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes advanced 35¢ to $97.75/bbl.

Contact Sam Fletcher at samf@ogjonline.com

 

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