MARKET WATCH: Energy prices continue to slide

Energy prices continued sliding Aug. 5 in the first trading session of the week. The equity market was relatively flat with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index down 0.2% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average declining 0.3%.

However, analysts in the Houston office of Raymond James & Associates Inc. reported equity prices “continue to hover near record levels as the absence of any significant market-moving news tempers volume, allowing yesterday to be the lightest full-day action of the year. As earnings season winds down (391 of the S&P 500 have already reported), investors will search for new catalysts to move the market.” The SIG Oil Exploration & Production Index and the Oil Service Index finished the day “flattish” as well.

Energy prices

The September contract for benchmark US sweet, light crudes decreased 38¢ to $106.56/bbl Aug. 5 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The October contract declined 34¢ to $105.90/bbl. The Wall Street Journal reported its market source discontinued reporting US spot prices for West Texas Intermediate at Cushing, Okla., effective Aug. 5.

Heating oil for September delivery was down 1.92¢ to $3.08/gal on NYMEX. Reformulated stock for oxygenate blending for the same month lost 4.41¢ to $2.95/gal.

The September natural gas contract retreated 2.8¢ to $3.32/MMbtu on NYMEX. On the US spot market, gas at Henry Hub, La., fell 6.3¢ to $3.33/MMbtu.

In London, the September IPE contract for North Sea Brent decreased 25¢ to $108.70/bbl. Gas oil for August dropped $3.50 to $920.25/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes was down 22¢ to $106.43/bbl.

Contact Sam Fletcher at samf@ogjonline.com.

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