Oil rises despite steady OPEC supply
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Oil prices rebounded from an early retreat yesterday, as traders brushed aside OPEC supply-side issues and focused on higher stock prices.
Benchmark crude for April delivery gained $1.10 to settle at $47.35 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices fell as low as $43.62 overnight after OPEC decided to forgo further production cuts in favor of boosting compliance with existing ones.
Jim Ritterbusch, president of energy consulting group Ritterbusch and Associates, said OPEC's willingness to hold the line on supply is forcing traders to shift their focus to the demand side, and, at least for a day, the signs are good.
Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said Sunday they will try to stick more closely to the group's current output quotas but will not make further cuts.
Separately, the national retail average price for a gallon of regular gas gained two-tenths of a cent to $1.91 a gallon, according to AAA, the Oil Price Information Service, and Wright Express. That is 5.5 cents a gallon above what it was a month ago.