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Crude Oil Ends Week with Losses, Natural Gas Surges

March 1, 2019 at 23:11 by Vladimir Vyun

Crude oil prices fell on Friday and ended the week with about 3% loss. Market specialists had different views on why crude declined. Some blamed poor US macroeconomic data, which signals about potential decrease in demand. Others pointed at recent sales from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves as the main negative factor for crude.

There was also positive news for the commodity. Baker Hughes reported that US firms decreased the number of oil rigs by 10 last week. Now, the total count stands at 843 — the lowest since May 2018.

Contract for delivery of WTI crude oil in April slumped as much as 2.57% to $55.75 per barrel as of 22:33 GMT on NYMEX today. Brent crude for delivery in May tumbled 2.02% to $64.97 per barrel on ICE.

At the same time, prices for natural gas surged. The likely reason for that was forecasts of a cold outbreak on the weekend. Futures for delivery of natural gas in April climbed 1.21% to $2.85 per million British thermal unit on NYMEX today.

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