Market watch, Nov. 3

World energy futures prices continued to waffle Thursday, with most markets declining as political tensions seemed to ease in the Middle East. Some analysts said traders were using the possibility of Mideast peace talks as an excuse for liquidating long positions before the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' latest production increase hits the markets.


World energy futures prices continued to waffle Thursday, with most markets declining as political tensions seemed to ease in the Middle East.

Some analysts said traders were using the possibility of Mideast peace talks as an excuse for liquidating long positions before the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' latest production increase hits the markets.

The December contract for benchmark US light, sweet crude dropped 71� to $32.54/bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while the January contract lost 70� to $31.28/bbl. The December position was unchanged in after-hours electronic trading, while the January contract dipped 2� to $31.26/bbl.

The unleaded gasoline contract for December retreated by 1.55� to 86.88�/gal on the NYMEX, while heating oil for the same month was down 0.91� to 93.18�/gal.

However, the December contract for natural gas rose 7.4� to $4.76/Mcf.

In London, the December contract for North Sea Brent oil lost 53� to $30.78/bbl on the International Petroleum Exchange. The December contract for natural gas also dipped 3� to the equivalent of $3.80/Mcf.

The average price for OPEC's basket of seven crudes was down 64� to $30.26/bbl Thursday.

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