Market watch, July 24

Energy futures continued to decline on international markets Friday, as profit-taking and squaring of crude positions affected the whole energy complex. The New York Mercantile Exchange was especially volatile with the close of the August crude contract during the week.


Energy futures continued to decline on international markets Friday, as profit-taking and squaring of crude positions affected the whole energy complex. The New York Mercantile Exchange was especially volatile with the close of the August crude contract during the week.

The NYMEX contract for benchmark light, sweet crudes for September delivery lost 1.21� to close at $28.56/bbl Friday. The October contract was down 95� to $28.36/bbl.

The August contract for unleaded gasoline fell 4.58� to 91.31�/gal; home heating oil dropped 2.87� to finish at 76.4�/gal.

The September contract for natural gas also lost 2.6� Friday to end the week at $3.83/Mcf on the NYMEX.

In London, the September contract for North Sea Brent crude was down 75� to $27.52/bbl on the International Petroleum Exchange, as traders adjusted to reports that Saudi Arabia has already unilaterally boosted production by 250,000 b/d and may release another 250,000 b/d in the near future.

The August gas contract remained flat at the equivalent of $2.67/Mcf on the IPE.

North Sea Brent oil futures were traded actively on the Singapore exchange. The September contract was traded at $27.42, down by 82�. October was at $27.42�down 60��after 100 lots changed hands.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' basket of seven crudes was down 56� to $26.33/bbl on Friday, well under the cartel's trigger price of $28/bbl for considering production hikes.

That basket price averaged $27.85/bbl last week, down from $28.83/bbl the previous week, OPEC officials reported.

So far this year, the OPEC basket price has averaged $26.50/bbl, including averages of $29.12/bbl in June, $26.94/bbl in May, and $22.93/bbl in April.

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