Market watch: Energy futures prices rise with gasoline market concerns

Energy future prices rallied Wednesday on international markets as traders reacted to a smaller-than-expected build in US gasoline stocks and reports of refinery problems in the Western Hemisphere.


By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, May 10 -- Energy future prices rallied Wednesday on international markets as traders reacted to a smaller-than-expected build in US gasoline stocks and reports of refinery problems in the Western Hemisphere.

The American Petroleum Institute reported late Tuesday that US gasoline stocks increased last week by 1.1 million bbl to a total 199.9 million bbl, less than many traders had anticipated (OGJ Online, May 9, 2001).

Wednesday's market reacted to that, along with reports of problems at Sunoco's Point Breeze refinery in Philadelphia, and speculations that floods and power outage would disrupt production at two Venezuelan refineries.

The rally is more of a psychological and emotional reaction, and can't be sustained because it's not based on market fundamentals, some analysts said.

The June contract for unleaded gasoline jumped by 3.23¢ to $1.0767/gal Wednesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Home heating oil for the same month was up 1.88¢ to 76.77¢/gal.

Benchmark US sweet, light crude for June delivery rose 84¢ to $28.23/bbl, while the July contract gained 57¢ to $28.94/bbl. In after-hours electronic trading, the June contract continued climbing to $28.35/bbl as the July contract dipped to $28.91/bbl.

The June natural gas contract lost 7.7¢ to $4.20/Mcf on the NYMEX.

In London, North Sea Brent crude for June delivery gained 25¢ to $28.15/bbl on the International Petroleum Exchange, while the July contract was up 22¢ to $28.10/Mcf.

The June natural gas contract lost 5¢ to the equivalent of $3.15/Mcf on the IPE.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' basket of seven crudes increased by 21¢ to $25.54/bbl.

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