MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil prices end volatile week on positive note

The crude oil price for October delivery climbed more than $2/bbl on the New York market Aug. 28 to settle above $45/bbl, ending a volatile trading week in which light, sweet crude oil prices gained nearly 12% during a week that started out with multiyear lows before rebounding steeply.

But the momentum appeared to have stopped in early Aug. 31 trading after The Financial Times reported the Chinese government will no longer make large-scale stock purchases to support the nation’s stock market.

“It is now widely accepted that China is in the midst of a major slowdown in both economic growth and energy demand,” Platts reported.

Meanwhile, traders and investors waited to see whether the US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates following its annual meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

“Crude oil prices continue to reflect weak fundamentals,” Barclays analyst Miswin Mahesh said in a research report. “New uncertainties on the horizon” also were seen, he said, including a slowdown in China’s economy, the resilience of US unconventional oil producers, and a strengthening dollar in relation to other currencies. Oil trades in dollars.

Energy prices

The October crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange jumped $2.66 to $45.22/bbl Aug. 28 while the November crude oil contract gained $2.61 to $45.98/bbl.

The natural gas contract for October increased 5¢ to a rounded $2.71/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price dropped 2¢ to $2.66/MMbtu.

Heating oil for September delivery gained 8¢ to a rounded $1.58/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for September was up 6.5¢ to a rounded $1.52/gal.

The October ICE contract for Brent crude jumped by $2.49 to $50.05/bbl, and the November contract climbed $2.50 to $50.86/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for September climbed $31.75 to $477.50/tonne.

The average price for the OPEC basket of 12 benchmark crudes rose $2.82 to $45.19/bbl on Aug. 28.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

*Paula Dittrick is editor of OGJ’s Unconventional Oil & Gas Report.

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