Natural Gas, WTI and Brent Crude Settle Higher on Friday


Crude oil and natural gas futures finished higher on Friday as traders monitored the OPEC production cut and forecasts for below-average temperatures bolstered the markets, according to Bloomberg MarketWatch.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, January West Texas Intermediate crude tacked on 66 cents, or 1.3%, to settle at $51.50 a barrel, marking a 2.2% gain from last Thursday. For the week, prices ended about 0.4% lower after more than a 12% jump last week.

On the London ICE Futures Exchange, February Brent crude gained 44 cents, or 0.8%, to end trading at $54.33 a barrel. Brent crude was just over 0.2% lower for the week.

Many analysts believe that oil prices are likely to slowly trend higher into the coming year now that OPEC has reasserted its willingness to nudge the market with production cuts. For years, the cartel has sat on the sidelines as production from domestic shale drillers rose, sending prices dramatically lower and bringing an end to an era of high oil prices.

Meanwhile, January natural gas futures climbed by 5.1 cents, or 1.4%, to settle at $3.746 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange following a volatile trading day. It marked a fourth straight weekly climb as prices rose around 9% for the week.


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