Market watch: Futures markets mixed Friday

Energy futures were mixed Friday as traders awaited stronger evidence of market direction. The June contract for benchmark US sweet, light crudes gained 3¢ to $28.55/bbl, while the July contract dipped 2¢ to $29.08/bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange.


By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, May 14 -- Energy futures were mixed Friday as traders awaited stronger evidence of market direction.

The June contract for benchmark US sweet, light crudes gained 3¢ to $28.55/bbl, while the July contract dipped 2¢ to $29.08/bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In after-hours electronic trading, the June contract inched up to $28.63/bbl as the July contract slid to $29.05/bbl.

Unleaded gasoline for June delivery dropped 2.4¢ to $1.0501/gal Friday on the NYMEX, while home heating oil for the same month declined 0.77¢ to 76.05¢/gal.

The June natural gas contract was down 7¢ to $4.28/Mcf.

In London, the June contract for North Sea Brent crude lost 29¢ to $28.19/bbl on the International Petroleum Exchange. The June natural gas contract was essentially unchanged at $3.11/Mcf on the IPE.

UK brokers said that oil market appeared fairly stable, pending any indications of weakening US demand for gasoline or an unusual build up of US gasoline inventories. Any fresh indicators of a bear market could trigger a sharp price drop that would test support for North Sea Brent at $27, they said.

The average price for OPEC's basket of seven crudes declined by 7¢ to $25.99/bbl Friday.

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