Market watch, Nov. 6

Energy futures prices generally closed higher in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange Friday. Analysts said the rise in crude and gasoline futures was based on technical factors. The market had oversold during the previous session on perceptions about the expected decrease in tensions in the Middle East.


Energy futures prices generally closed higher in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange Friday.

Benchmark light, sweet crude for December delivery advanced by 17� to settle at $32.71/bbl, while the January contract was $31.55, up by 27�.

Refined petroleum products ended mixed, with December home heating oil losing 1.01� to finish at 92.17�/gal. Unleaded gasoline for the same month edged up by 0.07� to rest at 86.95�.

NYMEX natural gas for December delivery rose by 17.1� to end at $4.93/Mcf.

Analysts said the rise in crude and gasoline futures was based on technical factors. The market had oversold during the previous session on perceptions about the expected decrease in tensions in the Middle East.

Buying by short-term technical traders lifted crude and gasoline futures in Friday's session.

However, home heating oil bucked the trend, primarily because of higher-than-expected temperatures in the Northeast, the nation's biggest home heating oil market.

In after-hours electronic access trading in New York, light, sweet crude brought $32.65/bbl for the December position and $31.50 for the January contract, both down from the NYMEX close.

Meanwhile, in London Friday, North Sea Brent crude oil futures were slightly higher at the close of trading on the International Petroleum Exchange (IPE).

Brokers said reports of further trouble in the Middle East had offset earlier reports of a willingness to seek peace in the region.

They said the market remained cautious, and traders were uncomfortable about running short positions.

On the IPE, December Brent settled at $30.85/bbl, up by 7� from Thursday's close. The day's high was $31, and the low was $30.32. Also on the IPE, the December natural gas contract settled at the equivalent of $3.82/Mcf, up 2�.

On the Singapore exchange, Brent crude for December settled at $30.85/bbl, up 7� from last Friday's close. The January contract advanced by 22� to finish at $30.25/bbl.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' basket of seven crudes stood at $30.22/bbl Friday, compared with $30.26 the previous day.

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