Natural-gas futures were the lone gainers on Nymex, with March natural gas up 8 cents, or 2.6%, at $3.13 per million British thermal units. “Fears of late winter volatility and a bit of technical support have translated to buying interest” as prices approach $3, said Robbie Fraser, commodity analyst at Schneider Electric.
Oil traders are also watching the escalating rivalry between the U.S. and Iran after the Middle Eastern oil producer recently conducted a midrange ballistic missile test. The U.S. said the launch breached the nuclear deal Tehran signed with major world powers. The Trump administration responded by slapping sanctions against a number of Iranian companies and individuals. Tehran quickly reacted with its own plan to impose reciprocal measures, including legal restrictions on U.S. nationals and companies. The renewed spat amplifies the risk of a new conflict in the region and could result in supply disruptions.