Oil Briefly Exceeds $100 per Barrel
The price of benchmark U.S. crude for March delivery briefly exceeded $100 per barrel Friday, and closed at $99.88 according to an article in “Rigzone”. Unexpectedly strong demand for gasoline, lower than anticipated supplies of distillates such as diesel and heating oil, and a reinvigorated stock market all contributed to the surge in crude prices.
Analysts had predicted the recent cold weather would have kept motorists off the road, but demand for gasoline has been better than expected. Distillate consumption is up due to the weather and consequently inventories are 12% below their levels of a year ago. Finally, the increase in the number of people entering the job market fueled optimism on Wall Street which in turn raised stock prices and expectations for future crude demand.
The weather had the opposite effect on natural gas prices. Forecasts for milder weather in the Midwest and Northeast drove prices down to $4.78 per MCF, bringing the two day decline to 5%.
To read the article in its entirety, please go to http://www.rigzone.com/news/oil_gas/a/131520/Oil.