Oil futures finished higher on Friday, but U.S. prices logged a fifth straight month of declines, as well as a loss for the quarter. “It’s been a difficult quarter for crude oil prices with expectations that a China reopening would serve to galvanize prices back to $100 a barrel proving to be wildly misplaced,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK. Natural-gas futures, meanwhile, posted hefty losses for the quarter, with Matthew Sherwood, senior Europe and lead commodities analyst at The Economist Intelligence Unit, partly attributing the decline to a “weather-related slump” in U.S. demand. May West Texas Intermediate crude CLK23, +1.79% rose $1.30, or nearly 1.8%, to settle at $75.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices based on the front-month contract, lost 1.8% for the month and 5.7% for the first quarter, according to Dow Jones Market Data. May natural gas NGK23, +2.95% added 11 cents, or 5.3%, to settle at $2.216 per million British thermal units, but fell over 50% for the quarter.
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