rises on tight supply, heating oil gains
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[February 15, 2014]
By Elizabeth Dilts
NEW YORK, Feb 14 (Reuters) — Brent oil
futures rose in late session trading on Friday, boosted by demand
for heating oil ahead of more winter cold and snow in the U.S.
Northeast as well as supply disruptions in producers Libya and
Brent also gained as European Union economic growth data
strengthened, boosting the euro against the U.S. dollar.
U.S. oil fell, pressured by weak manufacturing data attributed to
the cold winter weather. That data overshadowed steady consumer
sentiment. Coupled with disappointing January retail sales and a
spike in jobless claims a day earlier, Friday's data exacerbated
worries about growth in the world's biggest economy.
A snowstorm is expected to drop up to half a foot of snow from New
York to Boston this weekend, just 24 hours after the region was
walloped with a four-day storm that left two feet of snow in some
U.S. crude settled 5 cents lower at $100.30 a barrel, though it
ended higher on the week for the fifth week in a row.
Brent crude settled 56 cents higher at $109.08 a barrel.
Supply concerns continue in Libya, where a senior army official on
Friday called for the suspension of parliament and for the army to
"rescue" the country. Oil output is down by 100,000 barrels since
Tuesday because protesters again shut oil pipelines in the country's
Adding to supply concerns, BP Thursday declared force majeure on
exports of Angolan Plutonio crude after production was cut back due
to a damaged hose.
Brent's premium to U.S. crude, which narrowed to the tightest point
since October about two weeks ago, widened by 57 cents to $8.95 on
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U.S. ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD), commonly known as heating oil,
rose nearly 5 cents to $3.0782.
Analysts expect heating oil prices to eventually decline as the
winter weather subsides and U.S. refiners enter maintenance season.
"The utilization rate has been rather strong, but that will start to
pull back in the coming weeks," said Bob Yawger, director of
commodities futures at Mizuho Securities in New York.
Floor trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange is closed on
Monday for the U.S. Presidents Day holiday. All electronic trades
placed on Sunday and Monday will register on Tuesday, when the
market resumes normal trading hours.
(Additional reporting by Peg Mackey in
London and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen in Singapore; editing by David
Evans, Jane Baird, Peter Galloway and G Crosse)
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