Commodities : Crude Oil Futures Prices Up
Hurricane Kate swept into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening oil producing and refining facilities and prompted a sharp increase in crude oil futures prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Crude oil futures climbed to life-of-contract highs while heating oil prices rallied on news that temperatures had dropped in Europe and were expected to do the same in the northeastern United States by week’s end, said Peter Beutel, a petroleum analyst in New York with Rudolf Wolff Energy.
Beutel said Hurricane Kate had damaged an oil refinery and an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico.
Crude oil settled 13 cents to 41 cents higher with the contract for delivery in December at $31.72 a barrel; heating oil settled 0.20 cent to 0.48 cent higher with December at 86.99 cents a gallon.
Grain and soybean futures prices were mostly lower on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soybean prices rallied early in the session but retreated later and fell to life-of-contract lows.
Dave Armstrong, a grain analyst with Drexel Burnham Lambert, noted that demand for soybeans remains good, but prices have been under pressure because traders don’t know what kind of farm legislation will emerge from the federal government.