Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Crude Futures Increase

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Crude Futures Increase

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) -- Crude oil futures jumped by 4 percent Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange on expectations that OPEC's continued solidarity on production cutbacks will push prices higher.

Other energy prices also gained.

Oil prices, which had lagged since topping $25 a barrel earlier this fall, climbed well above $23 a barrel as the market continued to respond to signs within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that production won't be raised any time soon.

"The rally is basically an extension of the buying pressure in the wake of recent comments by the Saudis underscoring their hesitancy about raising production," said Michael Rothman, senior energy analyst for Merrill Lynch in New York.

Key producers Saudi Arabia and Venezuela both indicated last week that OPEC may keep its oil output cuts in place after they expire next March 31.

Fueling the rally, a senior Kuwaiti oil official said his nation would back an extension if necessary to stabilize the markets. …

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