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Oil prices inch up to mid-US$73 a barrel after settling lower overnight

Oil prices inch up to mid-US$73 a barrel after settling lower overnight

Oil prices rose Friday after settling lower in the previous session on slower-than-expected economic growth figures and profit-taking.
Light, sweet crude for October delivery rose 11 cents to US$73.47 a barrel in Asian electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, early morning in Singapore.
The contract fell 15 cents to settle at US$73.36 a barrel Thursday on concerns about the prospect of weakening demand in the long term, after second-quarter gross domestic product in the U.S. rose 4 percent _ slower than many analysts had expected. And jobless claims rose unexpectedly last week to the highest level since spring.
Energy investors worry that a slower economy means less demand for oil and gasoline.
Gasoline and oil futures rose sharply Wednesday after the U.S. government reported surprisingly large declines in inventories of both on an unexpected drop in refinery activity.
With the summer almost over, refiners are switching over to produce more heating oil, analysts say. That has some analysts worried anew about gasoline inventories, which are at 2-year lows. But others think the inventory drop is a natural reaction by refiners to lower anticipated fall demand.
Nymex heating oil prices rose 0.36 cent to US$2.032 a gallon (3.8 liters) while October gasoline futures added 0.34 cent to US$1.9631 a gallon.
Natural gas prices gained 5.1 cents to US$5.686 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Natural gas prices were also supported by a National Hurricane Center forecast that storms in the central Atlantic could develop into a tropical depression over the next day or two, analysts said. Worries that a storm could hit critical gas and oil installations in the Gulf of Mexico often boost natural gas prices during hurricane season.
Natural gas supplies are at record levels, which has kept prices below year-ago levels. Heating oil inventories, on the other hand, are lower than they were a year ago, which has driven prices higher. The result could be lower heating bills this winter for natural gas customers, and higher bills for heating oil customers.


Updated : 2020-12-06 07:40 GMT+08:00