Market watch: Energy futures prices continue to climb

Most energy futures prices continued to increase in international markets Thursday. The June contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes gained 29¢ to $28.52/bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange.


By the OGJ Online Staff


HOUSTON, May 11 -- Most energy futures prices continued to increase in international markets Thursday.

The June contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes gained 29¢ to $28.52/bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while the July contract was up 18¢ to $29.10/bbl.

Unleaded gasoline for June delivery dipped 0.26¢ to $1.0741/gal, but home heating oil for the same month inched up 0.05¢ to 76.82¢/gal.

The June natural gas contract rose by 14.6¢ to $4.35/Mcf on the NYMEX.

In London, North Sea Brent crude futures remained fairly steady above the $28/bbl level on the International Petroleum Exchange. The June contract was up 33¢ to $28.48/bbl Thursday on the IPE. However, the June natural gas contract was down 5¢ to the equivalent of $3.10/Mcf.

London brokers said that oil market is riding on the continued strength of US gasoline futures.

Many traders expect US gasoline, particularly reformulated gasoline, to remain in extremely tight supply for the next couple of months. As a result, analysts say, futures prices for oil and refined products have been boosted by more than $1/bbl.

However, more cautious participants are predicting the tight market will ease within a matter of weeks, producing a sharp drop in prices.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' basket of seven crudes increased by 52¢ to $26.06/bbl Thursday.

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