The price of crude oil had a bouncy day Thursday, Dec. 1, in response
to a storm headed toward the Northeast and the news that natural-gas
inventories are slightly lower than expected.
Light, sweet crude was trading at about the $58 mark in midday trading
Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The Associated Press reported that a storm expected to drop lots of snow in
Friday, Dec. 2, kept prices from dipping too much.
Analysts said traders were unsure whether the storm meant sustained
cold weather or a temporary chill, and that uncertainty had kept prices between
$57 and $58 per barrel for most of the day.
Meanwhile, the Department of Energy reported that inventories of
natural gas fell by 49 billion cubic feet for the week ending Nov. 25, more
than 2 percent below what they were for the same week in 2004.
This news, combined with rising demand as temperatures drop, could
drive oil prices even higher, The AP reported.