Money Matters - Simplified

Energy

Crude oil prices climb slightly

New York -- Crude oil prices edged higher Thursday morning, coming close to $88 per barrel on strong manufacturing and trade data from China.

Manufacturing activity surged in China in October with the Purchasing Manager's Index climbing from 52.9 to 54.8. On Wednesday, China said its trade surplus soared in October to $27.1 billion from $16.9 billion in September.

World leaders at the Group of 20 Nations summit in Seoul are concerned about massive trade imbalances, but little progress is expected. For now China's strength is a dominant factor in commodities pricing and that is expected to continue at least through 2035, a recent International Energy Agency report said.

Wind power needed sooner, researcher says

Austin-- Using wind energy will reduce greenhouse gases and slow global warming, but there's a catch, U.S. researchers say -- rising temperatures will mean less wind.

A climate researcher at the University of Texas at Austin says as wind speeds decrease with rising temperatures, it will mean less power bang for the wind turbine buck, a release from the American Institute of Physics reports.

The prevailing winds in the atmosphere are maintained by a temperature gradient that decreases toward the poles, researcher Diandong Ren says.

"For example, Wichita, Kan., is cooler, in general, than Austin, Texas. The stronger the temperature contrast, the stronger the wind."

Crude oil supplies down in week

Washington -- U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 3.3 million barrels in the week ending Nov. 5, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Wednesday.

The agency said crude inventories dropped to 364.9 million barrels during the week, with supplies remaining above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

Gasoline inventories fell by 2 million barrels to 210.3 million barrels. Gasoline stockpiles are listed as above the upper limit of the average range.

Supplies of distillate fuels, which include heating oil, fell by 5 million barrels to 159.9 million barrels.

Inventories of finished gasoline and stocks of gasoline blending components fell during the week, the energy agency reported.

Crude oil prices at $87 per barrel

New York -- Crude oil prices settled near $87 per barrel Wednesday morning as the dollar index climbed 0.24 percent.

Crude oil peaked at $87.45 and hit a low for the session at $86.10 per barrel. In recent trading, prices gained 31 cents to $87.03 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Heating oil prices added 1.23 cents to a prior settlement to $2.419 per gallon. Reformulated gasoline blendstock prices rose 1.88 cents to $2.2038 per gallon.

Henry Hub natural gas prices shed 2.4 cents to $4.186 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline reached $2.863 per gallon from Tuesday's $2.857, AAA said.

Crude oil holds above $87

New York -- Crude oil price held above $87 per barrel in New York Tuesday after The International Energy Agency said energy demand would rise sharply through 2035.

The agency's annual World Energy Outlook said demand would rise 36 percent in the next 25 years, pushed largely by a growing domestic market in China.

China's own demand was expected to grow by 75 percent over the next quarter century. At that point, it would account for 22 percent of the world's energy demands, up from a current 17 percent.

In the same span, the price of a barrel of oil would nearly double from close to $60 per barrel in 2009 to $113 per barrel, the agency said.

Energy demand to soar in 25 years

Paris -- A widely respected energy research agency said Tuesday that global energy demand would grow by a third by 2035.

The International Energy Agency said energy demand would surge 36 percent in the next 25 years, pushed largely by growing demand in China, an importer of fossil fuels, The New York Times reported.

"It is hard to overstate the growing importance of China in global energy markets. The country's growing need to import fossil fuels to meet its rising domestic demand will have an increasingly large impact on international markets," the agency said in its annual World Energy Outlook report.

China's own demand for energy is expected to increase 75 percent by 2035.

Crude oil prices hold above $86

New York -- Crude oil prices held even Monday above $86 per barrel in New York with the dollar index heading higher.

Renewed concerns over government debt in Europe helped weaken the euro, giving the dollar a boost.

The dollar index rose 0.63 percent to 77.03. December delivery crude oil prices, near a two-year high, hit a trading session high of $87.49 and a low of $85.96, before settling at $86.85 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Crude oil prices hold above $86

New York -- Crude oil prices slid Monday morning, but held above $86 per barrel in New York with the dollar index heading higher.

Renewed concerns over government debt in Europe helped weaken the euro, giving the dollar a boost.

The dollar index rose 0.69 percent to 77.08. December delivery crude oil prices, near a two-year high, lost 47 cents in early trading to $86.38 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Heating oil prices on the exchange shed 0.48 cents from a prior settlement to $2.38 per gallon. Reformulated gasoline blendstock prices shed 1.97 cents to $2.1603 per gallon. Natural gas prices added 11.3 cents to $4.05 per million British thermal units.

Crude oil prices top $87

New York -- Crude oil prices topped $87 per barrel Friday, reaching a 24-month high on a combination of economic events.

The U.S. Federal Reserve Wednesday said it would buy $600 billion worth of long-term treasury bonds, an announcement that reverberated through equity markets Thursday and Friday. Asian markets were sharply higher Friday, although U.S. markets came back down to Earth posting modest gains after a surge Thursday.

On Friday, the Labor Department said the U.S. economy added 151,000 jobs in October.

The dollar index rallied, rising 0.94 percent, but oil prices ignored the gain and climbed, too.

Crude oil prices gain on Fed move

New York- Crude oil prices moved higher in New York after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it would restart a policy of quantitative easing.

Investors have been anticipating a new round of Fed bond purchasing since August when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke began hinting more purchases were a possibility.

The surprise for the day was how much the Fed said it would invest. Policymakers choose to target $600 billion in long-term bond investments through the second quarter of 2011.

December delivery crude oil added $1.13 on the New York Mercantile Exchange to $85.03 per barrel. Heating oil prices rose 3.59 cents to $2.3295 per gallon. Reformulated gasoline blendstock gained 3.14 cents to $2.141 per gallon.