Market Watch, Sept. 19

Energy futures prices again rose in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange Monday. The squabble between Kuwait and Iraq over ownership of oil fields contributed to the rise. With no clear signs of a decrease in tensions in the Middle East, traders kept bidding up the prices nervously.


Energy futures prices again rose in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange Monday. The squabble between Kuwait and Iraq over ownership of oil fields contributed to the rise. With no clear signs of a decrease in tensions in the Middle East, traders kept bidding up the prices nervously.

The October contract for benchmark light, sweet crude added 96� to settle at $36.88/bbl, while the November contract stood at $35.55, up by 83�.

Refined petroleum products also closed higher, with October home heating oil rising by 0.86� to finish at $1.0415/gal, while unleaded gasoline for the same month improved by 0.36� to rest at 97.02�.

NYMEX natural gas for October delivery advanced by 8.9� to end at $5.30/Mcf.

Analysts said the exchange of statements between the two Middle Eastern oil producers was having more than its due effect on trading as stocks were unusually low at present.

A statement by Al�odr�ez Araque, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' conference president and Venezuela's energy and mines minister, also had a bullish effect on the market.

The minister said oil prices would not be discussed at the forthcoming OPEC summit and there was not much chance of a production increase decision at the gathering.

However, in after-hours electronic access trading in New York, light, sweet crude was fetching $36.77/bbl for the October position, and $35.39 for the November contract, both down from the NYMEX close.

Meanwhile, in London Monday, North Sea Brent crude oil futures rallied on the International Petroleum Exchange, again on the continued tensions in the Middle East.

Brokers said there was a growing fear that the tension could escalate.

IPE November Brent futures settled at $34.46/bbl, up 48� from the previous close.

Brokers said that $35/bbl for Brent could be a realistic target in the next few days if the tensions were not diffused.

On the Singapore Exchange, the November contract for North Sea Brent crude oil moved up by 48� to close at $34.46/bbl, while the December contract gained 57� to close at $34.

The OPEC basket of seven crudes stood at $32.98/bbl Monday, compared with $32.84 the previous Friday.

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