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Crude oil rises in New York; colder US weather raises demand

Crude oil rose in New York as cold weather in the northeastern US increased consumption of heating fuel and natural gas.

Demand in the Northeast, the biggest consumer of heating oil in the US, will increase 4% in the week ended January 26, according to the forecaster Meteorlogix LLC. That's pushing up prices after five straight weeks of declines, the longest losing streak since a six-week drop ended in December 1998. „Colder weather in the northeast part of the US, colder weather forecast for Europe over the next couple of weeks, is going to provide some upward pressure on prices,” said Julian Lee, an analyst at the London-based Centre for Global Energy Studies.

„In the longer term, the pressure is still downwards at the moment.” Crude oil for February delivery, a contract that expires today, rose as much as $1.06, or 2%, to $53.05 a barrel, in after-hours electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was at $52.39 at 2:05 p.m. in London. The more-actively traded March contract climbed as much as 63 cents, or 1.2% to $54.03 a barrel and traded at $53.63. Brent crude oil for March gained 5 cents to $53.49 a barrel in electronic trading on the ICE Futures exchange in London. Gas for February delivery rose 34.9 cents, or 5.1%, to $7.235 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It climbed about 4.5% last week as cold weather in the US Northeast and Midwest spurred demand for the furnace fuel. (Bloomberg)