Energy Futures Higher

According to Tim Evans of IFR Pegasus Econometrics, New York, January crude oil rose 28 cents to $18.36 on short covering as traders tried to sort out the conflicting fundamental reports from the American Petroleum Institute, Dept. of Energy and International Energy Agency. The API report was clearly bearish, Evans notes, but it was contradicted to some degree by the DOE report, which saw a more supportive draw in both crude oil and gasoline inventories, as well as a smaller build in distillate stocks than was reported by the trade group.

The International Energy Agency monthly report verified improved compliance on the part of OPEC, even as the text worried over a projected 920,000 bpd non-OPEC production increase for the coming year.

Precious Metals Mixed

According to Ron Goodis, Equidex, Guttenberg, N.J., February gold rose $1.60 as dollar faltered because the economy apparently not as strong as thought. The U.S. seems to want a lower dollar because it will help exports and help the economic recovery.

Silver fell 1 cent to $4.265 in quiet trading. As trading activity begins to wind down for the nw year, Goodis expects to see some short covering. March palladium, which surged above $400 level last week on Russian supply rumors, plunged $25.40 to $373.65 in profit taking.

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