The oil markets woke up to Ben Bernanke speaking at the National Association for Business Economics on Monday. Evidently, Bernanke's commentary regarding the U.S. economic outlook—saying the situation was based on cyclical, not structural, unemployment—was the shot that the broader markets and energy complex needed to rally. Prior to Bernanke's speech, U.S. crude futures were trading in negative territory.
While WTI crude advanced slightly Monday, Brent showed more of a forceful push upwards. On the NYMEX, May crude gained 16 cents to settle at $107.03 a barrel. Meanwhile, May futures for Brent crude were up 52 cent to $125.65 a barrel at Monday's settlement.
Among refined products, May reformulated gasoline blendstock was up three cents on the day to $3.40 per gallon, rounded.
Natural gas was again in the cellar, trading down five cents on the day to $2.32 per MMBtu for the May contract.
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