MARKET WATCH: Oil prices retreat; gas prices continue falling

Crude and petroleum product futures contracts on Aug. 2 gave back part of their price gains from the previous session while natural gas continued falling, down 9% through last week.

In the stock market, analysts in the Houston office of Raymond James & Associates Inc. reported, “US equities set yet another closing high [on Aug. 2], with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 0.5% and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index up 1.1% on the week. The SIG Oil Exploration & Production Index and the Oil Service Index outperformed with gains of 3% and 1.8%, respectively.” The equity market was flat and oil and gas prices were down in early trading Aug. 5.

Energy prices

The September contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes retreated 95¢ to $106.94/bbl Aug. 2 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The October contract declined 69¢ to $106.24/bbl. On the US spot market, West Texas Intermediate at Cushing, Okla., was down 95¢ to $106.94/bbl.

Heating oil for September delivery surrendered 2.52¢ to $3.07/gal on NYMEX. Reformulated stock for oxygenate blending for the same month more than wiped out its previous gain, however, down 3.37¢ to $2.99/gal.

The September natural gas contract continued its fall, down 4¢ to $3.35/MMbtu on NYMEX. On the US spot market, gas at Henry Hub, La., dropped 2.5¢ to $3.39/MMbtu.

In London, the September IPE contract for North Sea Brent decreased 59¢ to $108.95/bbl. Gas oil for August gave back $3.25 to $923.75/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes gained 55¢ to $106.65/bbl. So far this year, OPEC’s basket price has averaged $105.01/bbl.

Contact Sam Fletcher at

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