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Crude oil prices increase on Mideast concerns

Crude oil prices increase on Mideast concerns

Crude oil futures edged higher Monday after climbing close to $100 a barrel earlier in the session.
Light, sweet crude for April delivery rose 27 cents to $99.08 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It climbed as high as $99.70 a barrel earlier on supply concerns heightened by a Turkish military incursion into northern Iraq and warnings by Iran against further international sanctions
Some analysts noted that some investors had invested heavily in crude, betting that prices will continue to rise, and that this was likely to contribute to volatility in the market.
In London, April Brent crude futures rose 52 cents to $97.53 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.
In other trading, heating oil futures rose 1.86 cent to $2.7816 a gallon, while natural gas futures added 14.4 cents to $9.290 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Meanwhile, U.S. gasoline prices at the pump added more than 2 cents over the weekend, topping a more than seven-month high reached Friday.
Retail gas prices rose 2.2 cents to a national average of $3.137 a gallon (83 cents a liter) from $3.115 Friday, the highest since June 8, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. Gasoline futures also rose 1.4 cent to $2.5477 a gallon.
The gas price surge may reflect what some analysts believe will be a record climb in prices to between $3.75 and $4 a gallon this spring. The Energy Department's latest forecast calls for gas prices to peak near $3.40 a gallon (90 cents a liter) this spring.
But other analysts say the run-up is only in response to oil's recent spike to a new record above $101 a barrel and that inventory levels at a 14-year high won't support these prices.
"We have record high prices, but we don't have record tight inventories," said Tim Evans, an energy analyst at Citigroup Global Markets. "The gasoline market is not physically in bull market territory. Whether traders acknowledge this or not, these are bear market conditions."
Evans pointed out that gas supplies have risen for 15 straight weeks.
"To some extent this is what happens in winter because seasonally demand tends to be weak. But demand has been weaker than a year ago, which has allowed inventories to accumulate at a faster rate," he said.


Updated : 2021-04-14 22:03 GMT+08:00