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Energy Futures Lose Ground in Late Trading

May 18, 1990

NEW YORK (AP) _ Energy futures prices gave up their gains and closed mostly lower Friday as investors, led by gasoline traders, decided to take profits before the weekend.

The June contract for delivery of unleaded regular gasoline rose 0.22 cent to close at 64.43 cents a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange, but that was down from a session high of 65.35 cents. The July contract managed a slight gain, but subsequent months closed lower.

The June contract for West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark grade of U.S. crude oil, slipped 11 cents $18.76 a 42-gallon barrel.

Home heating oil for June delivery fell 0.04 cent to 51.92 cents a gallon.

Analysts said the market had traded higher but when profit-taking began in gasoline futures, oil prices also dropped.

Andrew Lebow, an analyst at E.D.&F. Man International Inc., said gasoline broke through the 64.50-cents-a-gallon level and still attracted buyers. But in the last 15 minutes of trading, the market turned around.

There were no news developments to affect trading, he said.

In the natural gas market, the June contract declined to $1.554 per 1,000 cubic feet from $1.570 on Thursday.

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