Tuesday, May 31, 2011

JPMorgan (JPM) (GS) (MS) See Crude Prices Continuing to Rise

Even though there is a temporary reprieve from the cost of oil and gasoline surrounding Memorial Day weekend, that didn't affect the outlook for oil prices over the the next year from JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS).

All three financial institutions said recently they see oil prices continuing to push up.

J.P. Morgan believes Brent crude will reach $130 a barrel in the third quarter. Goldman Sachs said that benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude will climb to $135 a barrel by the end of 2012, and Morgan Stanley Morgan Stanley sees Brent crude averaging $120 a barrel in 2011.

On Friday, benchmark crude for July delivery was up 36 cents to settle at $100.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude was down 2 cents to $115.03 a barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange.

In other Nymex trading, heating oil for June delivery jumped almost a penny to settle at $3.0014 per gallon and gasoline futures for June delivery rose 2.39 cents to settle at $3.0313 per gallon. Natural gas for July delivery climbed 15.8 cents to settle at $4.518 per 1,000 cubic feet.

If projections from investment banks are accurate, the price of gas will eventually rise to about $4.25 a gallon in the latter part of 2011.

Major oil producers closed mixed on Friday. Marathon (NYSE:MRO) ended the session at $53.37, falling $0.21, or 0.39 percent. ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) closed at $72.64, gaining $0.30, or 0.41 percent. BP (NYSE:BP) closed at $45.54, up $0.16, or 0.35 percent. Exxon (NYSE:XOM) ended at $82.63, climbing $0.24, or 0.29 percent.

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