Energy futures rise broadly as demand increases

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 7, 2014 at 3:44 pm •  Published: February 7, 2014

Energy futures rose broadly Friday on signs that demand for fuel was increasing. Metals prices were little changed and crop futures were mixed.

Crude oil briefly traded above $100 a barrel for the first time this year before settling slightly below that level on Friday.

U.S. crude for March delivery rose $2.04, or 2.1 percent, to $99.88 a barrel the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Rising prices for wholesale gasoline and low supplies of heating oil and diesel were helping drive crude prices higher, energy analyst Stephen Schork said. That's a sign refiners will buy and process more crude to meet the demand.

A rising stock market also lifted crude prices as traders anticipated more demand for energy if the economy continues to improve. Stocks rose as investors found bright spots in the government's monthly jobs report, including solid gains in construction jobs, and on higher earnings from U.S. companies. The Standard & Poor's 500 index increased 1.3 percent.

Heating oil futures gained 6 cents to $3.05 a gallon. The Energy Department said Wednesday that supplies of distillates, which include heating oil and diesel, fell by 2.4 million barrels last week and are now 12 percent below where they were a year ago.