Market watch, Aug. 24

International energy futures rebounded strongly Wednesday with renewed reports of declining US inventories.

Aug 24th, 2000


International energy futures rebounded strongly Wednesday with renewed reports of declining US inventories.

The September contract for home heating oil shot up 5.26� to 95.61�/gal on the New York Mercantile Exchange, following a report Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute that US distillate stocks dropped by 2.89 million bbl to 111.18 million bbl last week.

Unleaded gasoline for the same month climbed 1.25� to 94.58�/gal. API also reported those stocks were down by 1.14 million bbl to 202.2 million bbl total. With refineries running at 96.9% capacity, US inventories are at the lowest levels since 1976, said API officials.

US crude stockpiles were down by 7.77 million bbl to 279.71 million bbl last week.

On Wednesday, the October contract for benchmark US light, sweet crude rose 80� to $32.02 bbl on the NYMEX, while the November contract gained 73� to $31.56/bbl.

The market was apparently unaffected by President Bill Clinton's announcement that he would meet with heads of state of some members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to lobby for lower prices prior to the group's Sept. 10 meeting in Vienna.

In after-hours electronic trading, however, the contracts retreated to $32/bbl and $31.55/bbl respectively.

The September natural gas contact was up 8.5� to $4.61/Mcf on the NYMEX.

In London, the October contract for North Sea Brent crude surged forward 76� to $30.69/bbl on the International Petroleum Exchange, where analysts said they see no upper limits to futures prices at present.

Also on the IPE, natural gas prices fell 1.5� to $2.49/Mcf.

The average price for OPEC's basket of seven crudes was up 97� to $29.51/bbl on Wednesday.

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