Oil futures bounced Friday, after pulling back from multiyear highs in the previous session.
West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery
the global benchmark, was up 87 cents, or 1%, at $85.48 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe, headed for a 0.7% weekly advance. WTI earlier this week closed at a seven-year high, while Brent has traded at its highest in three years.
Crude pulled back Thursday as natural-gas prices retreated following weekly U.S. data that showed an unexpectedly large rise in storage of the fuel.
The recent leg higher for crude has come in sympathy with a surge by natural gas. Rising natural-gas prices have prompted increased demand for crude, particularly in China and other Asian countries, as utilities switch gas- and coal-powered generators to oil.
Energy commodities “can’t go up every day and we can expect this sector to remain volatile. But the bottom line is that supply remains limited and demand is robust, and if we get an early and cold start to winter, we should be prepared for much higher energy commodity prices,” said Tom Essaye, founder of Sevens Report Research, in a note.
November natural-gas futures
were up 3.3% at $5.282 per million British thermal units, but were on track for a 2.6% weekly decline.