Crude prices drop ahead of earnings season
Crude oil prices were lower Monday ahead of the first corporate earnings reports from the second quarter, due after the markets close today.
August contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude were 21 cents lower to $75.18 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange about fifteen minutes before the close of floor trade, but only after earlier gains on the news of a growing trade surplus in China.
Meanwhile, at last report Brent crude had dropped 96 cents to $74.46 per barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.
Nymex August gasoline futures were down 4 cents to $4.42 per gallon in afternoon trade, while August heating oil futures had dropped 4 cents as well, to $1.99 per gallon, but August natural gas was up 2 cents to $4.42 per million British thermal units.
The retail price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was up slightly overnight to $2.715 per gallon, but analysts believe that, barring an event such as a hurricane disrupting production in and around the Gulf of Mexico, pump prices in the United States should remain steady throughout the rest of the summer, noting that current weather forecasts show no signs of such a storm.
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