Log in
Login
Password
Remember
Lost password
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
Settings
Settings
Dynamic quotes 

4-Traders Homepage  >  News

News

Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesHot NewsMost Read NewsRecomm.Business LeadersVideosCalendar 

Crude-Oil Futures Settle Up After Steep Two-Day Losses

02/22/2013 | 03:52pm US/Eastern

--Crude struggles to its feet after two-day pounding

--RBOB gasoline recovers after sharp three-day decline

--Budget-deal deadline and product expirations loom next week

(adds weekly price declines in fifth and sixth paragraphs)

 
   By David Bird 
 

NEW YORK--Crude-oil futures prices, battered in a sharp two-day selloff on demand worries, settled modestly higher Friday, while gasoline futures prices rebounded.

"It seems the blood-letting ran its course and the market's trying to catch its breath," said Gene McGillian, broker and analyst at Tradition Energy.

Front-month U.S. benchmark crude-oil futures prices dropped $4.58 a barrel in the previous two days, ending Thursday at a new 2013 low. Prices barely staggered to their feet after the two-day pounding, in which commodity funds shed their expectations of near-term higher prices, helped by a large jump in U.S. crude-oil inventories.

Market anxieties may not let up next week as the March-delivery contracts for reformulated-gasoline and heating-oil futures expire at Thursday's settlement and the March 1 deadline to break a government impasse and reach a deal to avoid $85 billion in automatic spending cuts looms. Failure to reach a deal likely would unnerve markets, traders said.

Light, sweet crude-oil futures for April delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange settled 29 cents higher, at $93.13 a barrel. The contract fell 3.4%, the worst weekly performance for Nymex crude since Oct. 26, 2012.

April ICE Brent crude oil, which lost $3.99 over the previous two days, settled 51 cents higher Friday, at $114.10 a barrel. The contract lost 3% in the week, the biggest decline since the week ended Dec. 7, 2012.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs said oil prices are now "in line with fundamentals" after moving too high on "forward-looking survey data generating renewed optimism" on the global economy and oil-demand growth. The reality of "lackluster" hard data on actual demand and weak physical markets for oil brought about the selloff, the analysts said in a note.

Pressure on U.S. crude prices built when the Energy Information Administration reported domestic crude-oil stocks rose by 4.1 million barrels last week, more than twice the expected level. Stocks are now sufficient to meet nearly 27 days of current low demand from refiners, EIA data show. That is the highest level of inventory cover since March 1994, and crude-oil stocks outright are at their highest level for this time of year on EIA data beginning in 1982.

Andy Lebow, senior vice president for energy futures at Jefferies Bache, said U.S. crude now appears set to trade in a range of $90-$95 for the near term, down from the recent $95-$100 span.

Meantime, fireworks may surround the expiration of the March-delivery reformulated gasoline futures contract next week. The contract dropped 9.8 cents a gallon in the previous three days from a 20-week high, before recovering to settle 1.4% higher Friday.

Price volatility is common at this time of year as refiners walk a fine line between producing enough fuel to meet the winter-grade specification for the March contract before switching to the costlier, cleaner-burning summer-grade fuel that meets the April contract specifications.

In the last four trading days of the March 2012 contract, RBOB futures, then at a seven-month high, fell 11.05 cents, or 3.5%.

March-delivery RBOB futures rose 4.31 cents a gallon Friday, to settle at $3.0796 a gallon.

March-delivery heating oil futures, which shed 12.8 cents over the previous four sessions, settled 0.85 cent higher, at $3.1042 a gallon.

More information on settlements and highs and lows for futures on Nymex and ICE platforms can be found by searching for the following headlines:

 
   Nymex Light Crude Oil Close 
   Nymex Harbor RBOB Gasoline Close 
   Nymex Heating Oil Close 
   ICE Brent Crude Oil Close 
   ICE Gas Oil Close 
 

Write to David Bird at david.bird@dowjones.com

React to this article
Latest news
Date Title
07:34p ALLERGAN : BRIEF: Teva secures $34b financing for Allergan acquisition
07:34p STRIDE GAMING : acquires Israeli co InfiApps for $39m (BRIEF)
07:14p BUSINESS MACHINES : Raleigh's Nickelpoint Brewery embraces the nerdy side of brewing
07:14p METLIFE : program offers lifeline to those with gaps in their resume
07:08p FIRSTMERIT : high risk team leader works way up, devotes herself to nonprofits
07:08p BRIDGESTONE : 2015 Bridgestone Invitational: Tiger Generation still in awe of their hero, despite his struggles
07:01p SAUDI ELECTRICITY : Electricity sector 'needs SR700bn investments'
06:54p CORRIDOR OF INVESTMENT : 'CPEC will strengthen trade and investment'
06:51p BAKER HUGHES : BRIEF: Permian rig build continues
06:40p GOOD TIMES RESTAURANTS : to Announce Third Quarter Results on August 12, 2015
Latest news
Advertisement
Hot News 
ANGLESEY MINING : Final Results and annual report
CAMBIUM GLOBAL TIMBERLAND : Appoints Tony Gardner As Chairman
EQUATORIAL PALM OIL : Non-Executive Buys Shares (DIRECTOR DEALINGS)
ENTEGRA FINANCIAL : posts 2Q profit
FAIR VALUE REIT : DGAP-WpÜG: Takeover Offer ;
Most Read News
06:31p Government of Canada Supports the Upgrade and Expansion of Highway 1 Near Revelstoke
06:54p CORRIDOR OF INVESTMENT : 'CPEC will strengthen trade and investment'
06:19p BRIDGESTONE : supports local Veterans Plaza (BRIEF)
06:40p GOOD TIMES RESTAURANTS : to Announce Third Quarter Results on August 12, 2015
06:51p BAKER HUGHES : BRIEF: Permian rig build continues
Most recommended articles
04:23p Egypt says over half of summit promises turned into projects - planning minister
01:24p Greece may seek up to 24 billion euros in first new aid tranche
11:47aDJDEUTSCHE BOERSE CEO : Small Capital Increase To Finance 360 Trillion Acquisition--Report
09:54a Serious Fraud Office investigating oil firm Soma
09:06aDJAIRBUS : Says CN235 Military Transport Plane Crashed, Killing 11 on Board