MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil prices search for direction, hold above $46/bbl

Light, sweet crude oil prices for December went for a roller coaster ride Oct. 29, managing to regain some earlier losses for the day to close with a modest gain at just above $46/bbl on the New York market.

Analysts said the market searched for direction. The value of the dollar weakened on Oct. 29, offering some support for oil prices, after a government report showed US economic growth slowed during the third quarter.

Gross domestic product advanced at a 1.5% seasonally and inflation adjusted annual rate in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said Oct. 29. That matched expectations of economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal.

The latest report marked a sharp decline in pace from the second quarter, when the economy expanded at a 3.9% rate.

Energy prices

The December crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange was up 12¢ to settle at $46.06/bbl on Oct. 29. The January crude oil contract rose 8¢ to $46.90/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas contract for December fell 4¢ to a rounded $2.58/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price held steady at $2.10/MMbtu.

Heating oil for November delivery decreased less than a penny to a rounded $1.47/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for November also dropped by a fraction of 1¢ to remain at a rounded $1.35/gal.

The December ICE contract for Brent crude declined 25¢ to $48.80/bbl. The January contract was down 24¢ to $49.59/bbl. ICE gas oil for November settled at $453.25/tonne, up $1.50.

The average price for the OPEC basket of 12 benchmark crudes for Oct. 29 was $44.34/bbl, up $1.14.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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

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