MARKET WATCH: Freezing weather continues to drive natural gas futures

Natural gas futures prices continued to rise as freezing weather continued to envelope much of the US. Most other energy contracts also ended the Jan. 23 trading session higher.

The New York Mercantile Exchange February natural gas contract on NYMEX increased 4.1¢ to $4.73/MMbtu. On the US spot market, the Jan. 23 gas price at Henry Hub was a rounded $5.35/MMbtu, leaping 46.2¢.

The NYMEX March crude contract, meanwhile, gained 59¢ on Jan. 23, closing at $97.32/bbl. The April contract climbed 39¢ to settle at $96.76/bbl.

Heating oil for February delivery was up 3.86¢ to a rounded $3.08/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for February delivery was down 1.53¢ to reach a rounded $2.66/gal.

In London, the March ICE contract for Brent crude delivery declined 69¢, closing at $107.58/bbl. The April contract rose 59¢ to $106.92/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for February gained $3.50 to $922.50/tonne.

The Organizational of Petroleum Exporting Countries reported its basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $106.11/bbl on Jan. 23, rising 49¢.

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