The price of crude oil futures rose on Monday, driven by a cold weekend that drove demand for heating fuel across much of Western Europe.
"People are looking at a pretty decent retail environment, and that’s giving oil a boost," Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research, told Bloomberg News. "Cold weather is more bullish earlier in the season than later. If people turn on their heaters early and they stay on, that's good for the season."
West Texas intermediate light, sweet crude oil futures for January delivery rose 2.4 percent to $85.73 per barrel on ICE Futures. Brent crude oil futures, which are more internationally-oriented and responsive to European market conditions, gained 2.1 percent to $87.34 per barrel.
However, meteorological analyst Matt Rogers told the Financial Times that he'd caution investors from reading too much into the cold snap. "A week of cold weather in November does not tell us anything about the rest of the season," he told the paper.
Another bullish factor for crude was the beginning of the holiday shopping season, which was surprisingly strong. Sales on Black Friday weekend easily exceeded the dismal results of 2009.
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