Market watch, July 28

News of refining problems prompted a rise in gasoline futures, which pulled up other US energy markets Thursday.

Jul 28th, 2000


News of refining problems prompted a rise in gasoline futures, which pulled up other US energy markets Thursday.

The August contract for unleaded gasoline jumped 2.01� to 91.26�/gal, with reports that one New Jersey refinery was buying gasoline in the cash market to meet its obligations.

However, analysts said gasoline was not advancing on the strength of market fundamentals. They predicted that the technical rise in gasoline futures prices over the last few sessions might be short-lived.

Meanwhile, the September New York Mercantile Exchange crude contract gained 21� to $28.02/bbl. The October contract also was up 17� to $27.80/bbl.

The August contract for home heating oil gained 0.73� to 76.93�/gal, while the natural gas contract increased 5.7� to $3.82/Mcn of the NYMEX.

In London, the September contract for North Sea Brent crude rose 32� to $27.15/bbl on the International Petroleum Exchange.

But analysts doubted that prices would remain above $27/bbl for long in that market. Reports of higher US oil stocks and increased production by Saudi Arabia is encouraging players to sell into any rallies, brokers said.

The gas contract lost 5� to the equivalent of $2.70/Mcf on the IPE.

On the Singapore exchange, Brent crude rebounded after seesawing in uncertainty because of supply concerns for a week. The crude contract for September delivery was at $27.15/bbl, up 32� for the day but down $1.12 for the week. October Brent added 18� to settle at $27.08/bbl, dropping 94� for the week.

The average price of the seven crudes produced by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries gained 21� to $25.38/bbl Thursday.

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