Market watch: Energy futures prices make small gains

Futures prices for oil and refined products rebounded slightly in international markets Wednesday. Prices moved higher as selling became less aggressive, analysts said. However, they said the trend for energy prices is still downward, barring any surprise alteration in the balance of supply and demand.

By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Dec. 13 -- Futures prices for oil and refined products rebounded slightly in international markets Wednesday.

Prices moved higher as selling became less aggressive, analysts said. However, they said the trend for energy prices is still downward, barring any surprise alteration in the balance of supply and demand.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, both the January and February contracts for benchmark US light, sweet crude rose 28¢ to $18.36/bbl and $18.74/bbl, respectively. Each contract also dipped by 1¢ in after-hours electronic trading.

Unleaded gasoline for January delivery jumped 1.11¢ to 51.72¢/gal Wednesday on the NYMEX. Home heating oil for the same month increased by 0.59¢ to 50.58¢/gal. However, the January natural gas contract fell 8.4¢ to $2.72/Mcf.

In London, the January position for North Sea Brent crude gained 29¢ to $18.20/bbl on the International Petroleum Exchange. The January natural gas contract was down 2.8¢ to the equivalent of $3.90/Mcf on the IPE.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' basket of seven crudes increased by 12¢ to $16.74/bbl Wednesday.

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