Market watch, Nov. 21

Continued forecasts for below-normal temperatures in the US Northeast and Midwest the rest of the week triggered rallies in energy futures prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange Monday. Analysts said prices were set to rise again due to a forthcoming American Petroleum Institute storage report and rising tensions in the Middle East.


Continued forecasts for below-normal temperatures in the US Northeast and Midwest the rest of the week triggered rallies in energy futures prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange Monday.

NYMEX sweet, light crude, the American benchmark, rose 19� to $35.22/bbl for January delivery, while the February contract stood at $34.16, up 4�. Refined petroleum products also closed higher, with December home heating oil rising by 1.74� to finish at $1.0962/gal, while unleaded gasoline for the same month added 16� to finish at 91.97�.

NYMEX natural gas for December delivery gained 14.9� to end at $6.25/Mcf of gas.

Forecasts of colder weather again dominated trading.

Brokers said that the American Petroleum Institute's US oil stocks report overnight showed an unexpected hike in heating oil inventories, prices were set to rise again through the resistance level at $34/bbl.

News of increased tensions in the Middle East also put upward pressure on prices in after-hours trading. NYMEX sweet, light crude was fetching $34.96/bbl for the January position and $34.05 for the February contract, both down from the NYMEX close.

Meanwhile, in London Monday, North Sea Brent crude futures ended mixed on the International Petroleum Exchange. Earlier in the session, futures rose, driven by severe weather across much of the US with reports of further cold weather on the way.

On Monday, IPE January Brent futures reached a daily high of $33.95/bbl, before falling to close 1� lower at $33.07. However, the February Brent contract put on 23� to finish the day at $32.45/bbl.

On the IPE, the December gas contract closed at the equivalent of $4.32/Mcf, down 17�.

On the Singapore Exchange, North Sea Brent crude fell 1� to $33.07/bbl for January delivery; the February contract rose 23� to $32.45/bbl.

The price of the OPEC basket of seven crudes stood at $32.29/bbl Monday, compared with $31.07 the previous Friday.

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