Commodity Corner: Oil Rallies on Fed Report

Crude oil futures gained $1.55 Friday on news that U.S. industrial production grew last month.

May crude oil settled at $109.66 after the Federal Reserve reported that industrial production increased 0.8 percent in March, compared to just 0.1 percent in both January and February. Year-on-year, total industrial production for March reportedly increased by 5.9 percent.

The Fed also noted that manufacturing output increased by 0.7 percent last month while factory production rose to an annual rate of 9.1 percent during the first quarter. In addition, the central bank noted that total industry capacity utilization climbed by 0.5 percentage point to 77.4 percent.

Oil futures traded within a range from $107.21 to $110.10 Friday. Compared to last Friday's settlement price, oil is down 2.8 percent for the week.

Front-month natural gas lost a penny Friday to settle at $4.20 per thousand cubic feet. The dip followed predictions of above-normal temperatures throughout the eastern U.S. during the next two weeks.

May natural gas peaked at $4.24 and bottomed out at $4.17 during Friday's session. Week-on-week, natural gas is up nearly four percent.

Gasoline for May delivery gained six cents to end the day at $3.29 a gallon. It fluctuated between $3.23 and $3.30 during end-of-week trading. For the week, gasoline is up 0.9 percent.


Matthew V. Veazey has written about the oil and gas industry since 2000. Email Matthew at


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