Market watch, Nov. 13

Energy futures prices closed mixed in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange Friday. Short-term traders locked in their profits ahead of the weekend. They were concerned about bearish news about weather in the northeast.


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

The December contract for benchmark light, sweet crude advanced 10� to settle at $34.02/bbl, while the January contract stood at $33.06, up by 8�.

Refined petroleum products closed lower, with December home heating oil dropping 0.84� to finish at $1.0075/gal, while unleaded gasoline for the same month fell 0.69� to finish at 86.97�.

NYMEX natural gas for December delivery climbed 1.1� to $5.46/Mcf.

Profit-taking after the strong performance of the last sessions led to weakness in home heating oil futures.

Short-term traders locked in their profits ahead of the weekend. They were concerned about bearish news over the weekend about weather in the northeast.

Crude oil prices climbed on a statement from Al�odr�ez Araque, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' president and Venezuelan energy and mines minister.

The minister, in Vienna for the OPEC conference, said OPEC ministers would not discuss another increase in production quotas at their talks.

At the conference, Rodr�ez Araque was named secretary-general of OPEC, replacing Rilwanu Lukman.

In after-hours electronic access trading in New York, light, sweet crude was fetching $34.47/bbl for the December position and $33.49 for the January contract, both up from the NYMEX close.

Meanwhile, in London Friday, North Sea Brent crude oil futures ended the week lower on the International Petroleum Exchange, but held just above the $32/bbl mark.

Brokers said the market lacked direction because there was little definitive data.

Stocks data from the US last week was overall bullish for the IPE, but the market is waiting for this week's statistics�another rise in the import of refined products and a build in inventories is predicted.

In addition, brokers are waiting for confirmation that OPEC has actually boosted output and that larger producers have been able to make up shortfalls by members finding it difficult to produce their full quotas.

Although Brent settled above $32/bbl on Friday, a bearish US oil stocks report or bearish reports confirming higher OPEC output would quickly trigger a fall below this mark, brokers said.

IPE December Brent settled Friday at $32.02/bbl, down by 14� from the previous close. The day's high was $32.20 and the low $31.80.

On the IPE, the December natural gas contract settled at the equivalent of $4.01/Mcf, up 10�.

On the Singapore Exchange, North Sea Brent crude oil closed at $32.02/bbl, 14� lower than Friday's close. The January contract settled at $31.36, down 24�.

The price of the OPEC basket of seven crudes stood at $31.32/bbl Friday, compared with $30.79 the previous Friday, according to OPEC secretariat calculations.

The price of the basket so far this year has averaged $27.65/bbl.

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