Natural gas prices rallied for a second straight day and posted its best finish since March 4. The rise has taken prices off a multi-year low.
April natural gas ended the session at $4.227 per million British thermal units, up 5.3 cents on the session. Prices reached as high as $4.335 earlier in the day.
On Thursday, the Energy Information Administration revealed natural gas inventories declined by 30 billion cubic feet in the week ended March 13. Experts were looking for a drop of about 60 bcf in the week, although some economists were expecting a smaller decline. Working gas in storage was 1.651 trillion cubic feet, according to EIA estimates.
Meanwhile, crude oil for April delivery dropped to $51.06, down 55 cents on the session. Prices touched as low as $50.30. May-dated crude, which takes over as the front-month contract, inched up 3 cents to $52.07.
For the week, April crude increased $4.80 a barrel. Prices soared $3.47 for the session on the Federal Reserve's plan to buy as much as $1.15 trillion in bonds was revealed the day before.
The dollar hovered near 1.3575 against the euro, compared to yesterday's 10-week low of 1.3737. The buck saw its largest weekly decline against the euro since the inception of the single currency. The greenback also improved slightly versus the yen and pound.
With little economic news on the agenda, Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke's remarks to bankers in Phoenix were in the spotlight. In prepared remarks, Bernanke warned banking supervisors to pay close attention to their compensation structures, reflecting the ongoing uproar over $165 million in bonuses given out to executives at American International Group Inc. (AIG).
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