MARKET WATCH: Crude oil futures price climbs modestly

Crude oil futures prices climbed modestly on both London and New York markets on Jan. 17 in advance of the Jan. 20 Martin Luther King Jr. holiday when US markets were closed.

Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank, said he believes US benchmark light, sweet crude oil prices for February delivery “may find resistance ahead of $94.87[/bbl].”

Hansen also noted Brent crude oil for March delivery appears to be in a “down channel” given the potential of increased flow of oil from Libya and Iran. The Brent February contract expired last week.

The New York Mercantile Exchange February crude contract gained 41¢ on Jan. 17, closing at $94.37/bbl, which was the front month’s highest settlement since Jan. 2. The March contract climbed 49¢ to settle at $94.59/bbl.

Heating oil for February delivery rose 3.9¢ to a rounded $3.03/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for February delivery was up 2.5¢ to rounded $2.62/gal.

The February natural gas contract on NYMEX dropped 5.6¢ to reach a rounded $4.33/MMbtu. On the US spot market, the gas price at Henry Hub was $4.40/MMbtu, a decrease of 13¢.

In London, the March ICE contract for Brent crude oil added 73¢, closing at $106.48/bbl. The April Brent contract gained 63¢ to settle at $105.94/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for February climbed $8.75 to $916.25/tonne.

The Organizational of Petroleum Exporting Countries reported its basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $104.05/bbl on Jan. 17, which was down 42¢ from the previous day.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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