NewsCrude contracts hover around $71 this morning
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AnalysisCrude contracts this morning traded around $71 per barrel after sharply dropping last week, due to fears dominating financial markets over downgrade in credit ratings for Spain, Portugal and Greece. This comes after the US jobs report showed an ongoing weakness in performance in the labor market.

Meanwhile, the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday directly demanded from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to immediately begin the required procedures to start the uranium enrichment; therefore increasing tensions on the Iranian nuclear file, supporting fear on oil exports from Iran and consequently supporting oil prices. They stabilize in Asian trades around $71 per barrel. This came after oil recorded lower levels last Friday at $69.50 per barrel.

The cold weather has completely dominated the US in the current period, where oil prices continue to decline after recording their lowest in eight weeks. The U.S jobs report a rise in layoffs opposed expectations of added jobs, insuring that the US economy is still in need for more time to surpass this economic recession.

The S&P GSCI index closed last Friday at 475.65, after dropping by 10.21 points; whereas the RJ/CRB commodities index recorded 5.12 points decline to close at 258.55.

As for NYMEX, as of 03:30 EST, future heating contracts were trading at $188.370 per gallon higher by $0.890; motor fuel is trading around $188.650 per gallon after rising by $0.010; whereas natural gas contracts followed and rose by $0.126 to record $5.641 per 1000 cubic feet. In London, Brent future contracts rose by $0.340 at $69.930.

Crude contracts today opened at $71.97 per barrel, recording their highest at $72.05 and lowest at $71.00, currently trading around $71.90 per barrel.