MARKET WATCH: NYMEX, Brent oil prices hit 3-week highs

Light, sweet crude for March delivery gained 40¢ on Jan. 29 to settle at $33.62/bbl, marking the New York Mercantile Exchange’s highest closing since Jan. 6. Brent crude oil rose 85¢ to $34.74/bbl on the London market, its highest settlement since Jan. 5.

But both crude benchmarks still posted losses for the month in a string of three consecutive losing months.

“January proved to be a very volatile month for commodities and the final week was no exception, with the oil market continuing to attract most of the attention,” said Ole Hansen of Saxo Bank. “Speculation of a so-far unconfirmed and still doubtful grand bargain between OPEC and Russia helped trigger a strong comeback.”

Energy prices

The April crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 57¢ to reach $35.28/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas contract for March gained nearly 12¢ to a rounded $2.30/MMbtu. The Henry Hub gas price rose 13¢ to $2.25/MMbtu on Jan. 29.

Heating oil for February delivery rose 2¢ to a rounded $1.05/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for February was up 2.4¢ to a rounded $1.10/gal.

The April ICE contract for Brent crude climbed $1.19 to settle at $35.99/bbl on Jan. 29. The ICE gas oil contract for February was $304/tonne, down $3.75.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes for Jan. 29 was $29.11/bbl, up 83¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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