Oil futures climbed on Friday to post a gain for the week, but natural-gas futures fell sharply for the session to end the week more than 20% lower. “The Biden administration introduced an ‘SPR put’ to the oil market this week when they announced purchasing crude to replenish reserves when prices dip towards $70 a barrel,” Tyler Richey, co-editor at Sevens Report Research, told MarketWatch. “Very tight physical market conditions are also supportive of futures prices right now.” Natural-gas futures, however, saw prices “crash through” technical support from the summer in the mid-$5.40s, said Tyler. “Mild weather forecasts easing demand expectations and rapidly rising inventories have been key bearish influences over the last week.” U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery CLZ22, +0.77% rose 54 cents, or 0.6%, to settle at $85.05 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, with prices up 0.5% for the week, according to Dow Jones Data. November natural gas NGX22, -6.76% lost 40 cents, or nearly 7.5%, to $4.959 per million British thermal units, the lowest finish since March 2022 – down 23% for the week.
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