MARKET WATCH: Oil futures price ends month about $2 higher than start of year

The March crude oil contract ended the month lower than the prior day’s closing price but was still nearly $2 higher than the start of January.

The New York Mercantile Exchange March crude contract declined 74¢ on Jan. 31, closing the week at $97.49/bbl. The April contract dropped 95¢ to settle at $96.71/bbl.

Heating oil for February delivery increased 6.24¢ to a rounded $3.28/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for February delivery fell 3.54¢ to a rounded $2.63/gal.

The March natural gas contract on NYMEX relinquished 6.8¢ to a rounded $4.94/MMbtu. On the US spot market, the gas price at Henry Hub, La. slightly less than $5/MMbtu, falling 29.5¢.

In London, the March ICE contract for Brent crude delivery was down $1.55, closing at $106.40/bbl. The April contract dropped $1.49 to $105.81/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for February gave up $7 to $917/tonne.

The Organizational of Petroleum Exporting Countries reported its basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $104.45/bbl on Jan. 31, decreasing 64¢.

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