Oil Fututers Surge Above 100 a Barrel

10 Jan in Blog, crude oil futures, heating oil futures

Energy Futures--U.S. crude-oil futures passed $100 a barrel after a gauge of U.S. manufacturing came in higher than expected and spurred hopes of increased crude demand. A weaker dollar and lingering geopolitical concerns surrounding Iran also supported prices. In midafternoon Tuesday trading, crude-oil futures for February delivery rose $3.92, or 4%, to $102.74 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, keeping close to session highs. The contract had traded as high as $102.88 a barrel earlier. Crude scored an 8.2% gain in 2011, with the last trading days of the year dominated by worry surrounding Iran's military exercises and threats to close the Strait of Hormuz, a crossroads of the oil trade. Iran's army chief on Tuesday warned an American aircraft carrier not to return to the Persian Gulf in Tehran's latest tough rhetoric over the strategic waterway, part of a feud with the U.S. over new sanctions that has sparked a jump in oil prices. Among other energy products, the February gasoline futures contract advanced 8 cents,to $2.74 a gallon, and heating-oil futures for the same month added 11 cents, to $3.03 a gallon. February natural-gas futures turned higher, adding 1 cent to $3.03 per million British thermal units. I would still play this market to the upside as long as Iran continues their aggression prices will remain high.

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