Market watch: Energy prices dive

Energy futures prices nosedived in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange Thursday. Profit-taking after the market's spectacular rise during the last couple of sessions led to the losses.


By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, May 25 -- Energy futures prices nosedived in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange Thursday.

Profit-taking after the market's spectacular rise during the last couple of sessions led to the losses. Profit-taking activity snowballed, creating the same momentum that led prices up.

The June contract for light, sweet crude fell $1.17 to settle at $28.41/bbl, while the July contract fell $1.10 to $28.60/bbl. In after-hours electronic access trading in New York, the July contract was fetching $28.45/bbl, and the August contract $28.60.

Refined petroleum products also closed lower, with June home heating oil losing 2.12¢ to rest at 79.41¢/gal, while unleaded gasoline for the same month reversed by 4.20¢ to end at $1.1169/gal.

NYMEX natural gas for June delivery declined by 5.9¢ to end at $4.05/Mcf of gas.

Meanwhile, in London Thursday, North Sea Brent crude oil futures also fell sharply on the International Petroleum Exchange to close below $29/bbl.

Brokers said prices fell initially on a lack of buying interest, but technical selling was triggered as support was tested and then broken at $29.

They noted that there was growing anxiety that gasoline's strength would be eroded in the coming months as inventories were rebuilt.

On Thursday, IPE July Brent futures settled at $28.53/bbl, down by 71¢ from the previous close. The day's high was $29.48 and the low $28.20.

The IPE natural gas price rose 0.7¢ to the equivalent of $2.92/Mcf.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' basket of seven crudes stood at $26.39/bbl, compared with $26.94 the previous day.

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