Oil futures decline, but U.S. prices gain nearly 18% for the month

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Oil futures settled lower on Friday, but U.S. prices ended the month nearly 18% higher after marking a nearly 22-month settlement high on Thursday. Crude-oil futures have climbed “in anticipation of improvements in demand, while global supplies remained constricted,” said Marshall Steeves, energy markets analyst at IHS Markit. However, U.S. supplies have quickly recovered from disruptions last week from winter storms, and “will likely not have quite such a significant impact on next week’s inventory data,” he said. April West Texas Intermediate crude
CLJ21,
+0.26%
fell $2.03, or 3.2%, to settle at $61.50 a barrel Friday. Prices for the front-month contract rose 17.8% for the month of February, after climbing Thursday to their highest finish since May 1, 2019, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

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