Market watch: US futures continue climb

Energy futures prices continued to climb in the US but declined slightly in London on Thursday. The March contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes gained 32� to $31.59/bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, North Sea Brent crude for March was down 7� to $29.84/bbl after briefly breaking the $30/bbl barrier.


By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Feb. 9�Energy futures prices continued to climb in the US but declined slightly in the London market on Thursday.

The March contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes advanced 32� to $31.59/bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The April contract gained 33� to $31.31/bbl. Both contracts continued to inch up in after-hours electronic trading to $31.60/bbl and $31.33/bbl respectively.

Home heating oil for March delivery rose 1.44� to 84.18�/gal, while unleaded gasoline for the same month added 0.72� to 92.97�/gal.

However, the March natural gas contract slipped 0.77� to $6.16/Mcf on the NYMEX.

In London, the March contract for North Sea Brent crude closed at $29.84/bbl, down 7� for the day on the International Petroleum Exchange after hitting a high of $30.36/bbl in the afternoon.

Natural gas for March delivery climbed 21� to the equivalent of $3.85/Mcf on the IPE.

The American Petroleum Institute�s weekly report on US petroleum inventories late Tuesday had some negative effect on IPE oil prices, but the mood was too bullish to trigger a substantial sell-off, analysts said.

Although there is a technical need for futures prices to correct lower, they said, there seems little willingness among traders to allow a fall just yet.

On the Singapore exchange, the March contract for Brent crude settled at $29.84/bbl�down 7� for the day but up $1.74 for the week. The April contract settled at $28.75/bbl, up 16� on the day but up $1.89 for the week.

The average price of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries� basket of seven crudes gained 77� to $27.67/bbl Thursday.

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