MARKET WATCH: Oil, gas prices fall again in uncertain markets

Front-month crude oil prices were lower again Jan. 8 on news of uncertain markets and ongoing geopolitical strife.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Jan. 9 -- Front-month crude oil prices were lower again Jan. 8 "as the release of poor US macroeconomic data outweighed the support provided by ongoing geopolitical instability in the Middle East and Eastern Europe," said analysts with Barclays Capital.

The February futures contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes fell 93¢ to $41.70/bbl on Jan. 8 on on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The March contract also fell by almost as much, down 88¢ to $46.51/bbl.

"In terms of the flow of fundamental data, the main focus has been upon evidence regarding compliance with [the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries'] latest round of production cuts," Barclays analysts said.

Energy prices
On the US spot market, West Texas Intermediate at Cushing, Okla., was down 93¢ to $41.70/bbl. February heating oil declined 2.35¢ to $1.52/gal on NYMEX. The February contract for reformulated blend stock for oxygenate blending (RBOB) was up 1.18¢ to $1.088/gal.

Natural gas for the same month dropped 28.9¢ to $5.583/MMbtu on NYMEX. On the US spot market, gas at Henry Hub, La., fell 6¢ to $5.83/MMbtu.

In London, the February IPE contract for North Sea Brent crude slipped $1.19 to $44.67/bbl. January gas oil lost $22.25 to $578.25/tonne.

The average price for OPEC's basket of 12 reference crudes fell $3.62 to $42.13/bbl on Jan. 8.

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