Natural Gas and Crude Oil Futures Advance on Friday

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Crude oil prices edged higher on Friday, settling at a 52-week high during an abbreviated holiday trade, according to Bloomberg MarketWatch.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, February West Texas Intermediate futures added 7 cents, or 0.1%, to settle at $53.02 a barrel, marking its highest closing value since July 14, 2015. For the week, WTI gained 0.1%.

On the London ICE Futures Exchange, February Brent crude, the global benchmark, tacked on 11 cents, or 0.2%, to end trading at $55.16 a barrel. For the week, Brent crude posted a weekly gain of nearly 0.1%.

“We believe the oil rebalancing story is happening and prices will go up above $60 a barrel in 2017,” said Barnabas Gan, an economist at Singapore-based OCBC.

So far, the OPEC agreement has helped to keep oil above $50 a barrel for more days this month than any other since July 2015.

While most traders remain optimistic about the deal, it also has skeptics, especially since the cartel’s record is erratic for adherence to production quotas.

Meanwhile, January natural gas futures settled higher by 12.4 cents, or 3.5%, to end trading at $3.6620 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week, natural gas futures advanced by 7.2% due to a recent cold snap in the U.S.

 

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