HOUSTON, Jan. 25 -- Energy prices generally increased Jan. 24, led by a rebound in natural gas futures as traders adjusted from a late round of profit taking in the previous session on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The market also was impacted by cold weather in the Northeast US and by indications that members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries won't reduce production at their Jan. 30 meeting for fear of repeating last year's error when they cut output and triggered an escalation in crude prices.
The February contract for natural gas jumped by 23.6¢ to $6.48/MMbtu on NYMEX, "after a firm opening on the cold weather, driven by rising heating oil prices and short-covering ahead of colder-than-expected Northeast weather this week despite a more moderate outlook by some private forecasters for next week," said analysts at Enerfax Daily.
The March contract for benchmark US light, sweet crude climbed by 28¢ to $48.81/bbl on NYMEX, while the April contract was up by 33¢ to $48.93/bbl. On the US spot market, West Texas Intermediate at Cushing, Okla., gained 33¢ to $48.62/bbl. Heating oil for February delivery increased by 1.95¢ to $1.40/gal on NYMEX. But gasoline for the same month dipped by 0.06¢ to $1.299/gal.
In London, the March contract for North Sea Brent crude rose by 28¢ to $46.01/bbl on the International Petroleum Exchange.
The average price for OPEC's basket of seven benchmark crudes shot up by 86¢ to $42.49/bbl on Jan. 24.
Contact Sam Fletcher at [email protected]