Oil rises above US$104 a barrel for 1st time since July 3; natural gas falls

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The price of oil rose more than a $1 for the third time in the last four trading days, closing above $104 on Monday for the first time since July 3.

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for August delivery rose $1.46 to US$104.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, the Nymex contract fell six cents to $103.13. Oil has gained 4.6 per cent over the past four trading sessions.

Brent crude for September delivery, a benchmark for international oils, gained 44 cents to US$107.68 on the ICE exchange in London.

Meanwhile, natural gas prices sank further below $4 on forecasts for cooler temperatures in parts of the United States.

Natural gas supplies haven’t been dropping as quickly as usual this summer as milder temperatures compared with last year reduce the need for homeowners to run the air conditioning full tilt.

Natural gas fell 10 cents to US$3.85 per 1,000 cubic feet on the Nymex.

In other Nymex trading, wholesale gasoline rose three cents to US$2.89 a U.S. gallon (3.79 litres) and heating oil gained one cent to US$2.86 a gallon.

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