Market watch, Oct. 9

Energy futures prices closed generally higher in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange Friday. The November contract for benchmark light, sweet crude rose 33� to settle at $30.86/bbl, while the December contract stood at $30.91, up by 37�.


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

The November contract for benchmark light, sweet crude rose 33� to settle at $30.86/bbl, while the December contract stood at $30.91, up by 37�.

Refined petroleum products also closed higher, with November home heating oil rising by 0.22� to finish at 92.94�/gal, while unleaded gasoline for the same month edged up by 1� to rest at 84.50�/gal.

NYMEX natural gas for November delivery, however, declined by 14.4� to end at $5.01/Mcf.

The market rebounded on technical grounds after its significant drop during the previous two sessions. Short-term traders went into a buying mode, believing that the energy complex was oversold.

An estimate released by the US Energy Information Administration, stating that retail home heating oil prices would be higher by almost 16% during the coming winter, compared with last year, also boosted the market.

In after-hours electronic access trading in New York, light, sweet crude was fetching $31.36/bbl for the November position and $31.35 for the December contract, both up from the NYMEX close.

Meanwhile, in London Friday, North Sea Brent crude oil futures were little changed, but fairly steady above $30/bbl at the close of trading on the International Petroleum Exchange.

Brokers said the market was cautious following the release of 30 million bbl of crude from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and waiting to see the impact on the supply of refined fuel.

They maintained prices could hold above $30/bbl, unless there was some surprise bearish news or statistics this week.

On Friday, IPE November Brent futures settled at $30.10/bbl, up by 21� from Thursday's close. The day's high was $30.22 and the low was $29.85.

Also on the IPE, the November natural gas contract closed at the equivalent of $3.62/Mcf, up 3�.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' basket of seven crudes stood at $28.75/bbl Friday, compared with $28.42 the previous day.

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