Natural gas and oil ended the week with solid gains, with one boosted by forecasts for colder temperatures and the other by signs that U.S. manufacturing is heating up.
The price of natural gas rose 6 cents, or 1.6 percent, to finish at $3.87 per 1,000 cubic feet. It gained nearly 7 percent for the week, boosted mainly by forecasts for cold temperatures in many gas-consuming regions through the end of the month. Jim Ritterbusch, president of energy consultancy Ritterbusch and Associates, said in a note to clients that he expects natural gas to make "a run at the $4 mark early next week" assuming no change in weather forecasts.
The price of oil rose 42 cents to end at $93.45 per barrel. It was up $1.50, or 1.6 percent, for the week on signs of improvement in the U.S. job market and manufacturing sector. On Friday the government said a strong increase in auto output boosted U.S. factory production by a seasonally-adjusted 0.8 percent last month.
Brent crude, used to price many kinds of oil imported by U.S. refineries, gained 86 cents to finish at $109.82 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.