Finance

Natural gas prices up 18 percent this week

NEW YORK (AP) — Concerns about another cold front enveloping the country next week pushed natural gas prices higher Friday, helping the commodity finish its biggest week in two years.

March natural gas rose seven cents Friday, or 1 percent, to $6.14 per 1,000 cubic feet. Natural gas is up 18 percent this week, the most since April 2012. Natural gas is by far the most popular form of heating in the U.S. The cold has caused demand to soar, and supplies have run low in parts of the country.

U.S. natural gas supplies stood at 1.443 billion cubic feet last week, down 34 percent compared to the country's five-year average, the Energy Department said Thursday. The last time natural gas prices were this high was November 2008.

Other energy-related commodities fell Friday. Heating oil, a heating source used primarily in the Northeast, fell 4 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $3.04 a gallon. U.S. crude for April delivery fell 55 cents to close at $102.20 a barrel.

Wholesale gasoline fell 1.8 cents to close at $3.003 a gallon. In agricultural commodities, wheat fell 8 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $6.055 a bushel. Corn fell three cents, or 0.6 percent, to $4.53 a bushel and soybeans rose 13 cents, or 1 percent, to $13.62 a bushel.

Precious and industrial metals futures rose. Gold increased $6.70, or 0.5 percent, to $1,323.60 an ounce and silver rose 10 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $21.78 an ounce. Palladium for March delivery rose $3.70, or 0.5 percent, to $740 an ounce while platinum rose $15.40, or 1.1 percent, to $1,427.90 an ounce.

High-grade copper rose a penny, or 0.4 percent, to $3.29 a pound.

Related Headlines

  • Political instability, weather spur wheat prices

    Political instability in Ukraine —coupled with potential freeze damage to winter wheat in the United States and a deepening drought in some major wheat producing countries — ... 

  • WINTER STORM

    Crude oil remains above $102

    The price of oil fell slightly but remained above $102 on Friday, underpinned by U.S. demand for heating oil during a winter that does not seem to want to end. Benchmark U.S. 

Find the best rates

Find your future job here