Crude Oil Futures Advance, Natural Gas Retreats on Friday


Crude oil prices forged ahead on Friday, scoring their highest finish since the start of the month after the International Energy Agency lifted its forecast for global oil demand and estimated strong compliance with OPEC’s pledge to cut output, according to Bloomberg MarketWatch.

March West Texas Intermediate crude rose 86 cents, or 1.6%, to settle at $53.86 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, marking their highest finish since February 1.

On the London ICE Futures Exchange, April Brent crude, the global benchmark, added $1.07, or 1.9%, to end trading at $56.70 a barrel.

In its monthly report, the IEA upgraded its forecast for 2017 demand growth to 1.4 million barrels a day, up from 1.3 million barrels projected in its January report.

OPEC will release its monthly oil report Monday, which is expected to include production estimates for January.

Late last year, 20 oil-producing nations agreed to cut their cumulative daily production by 1.8 million barrels in stages starting last month.

On Monday, the Energy Information Administration will release its monthly update on domestic oil and natural gas shale output.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, March natural gas lost 10.7 cents, or 3.4%, to settle at $3.034 per million British thermal units.


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