Earlier this afternoon, Joseph Hargett reported that crude oil had conquered the $80-per-barrel threshold, setting a new record. Helping spur crude prices higher today was news that crude supplies dropped more than 7 million barrels. While supplies are up 1.4% from a year ago, they have dropped 14.5 million barrels since mid-August.
The October contract finished the day at $79.91 a barrel, up 2.2%, or $1.68, after hitting an intraday high of $80.05. This was the highest level for a front-month contract since August 1, when crude hit $78.70 per barrel.
Checking in on other energy contracts, October reformulated gasoline closed 3.49 cents higher at $2.016 per gallon. October heating oil rose by 3.64 cents to $2.2191 per gallon, setting a new record.
As for natural gas, weather concerns sent the benchmark contract higher, rising 50.4 cents, or 8.5%, to $6.438 per million British thermal units. In intraday action, the October natural-gas contract touched the $6.47 level, a region not seen since August 20.
Moving in on the close, the AMEX Natural Gas Index (XNG) is up 1.6% and the Select Sector SPDR Energy Fund (XLE) is higher by 0.63%.