By Lisa Sanders, CBS.MarketWatch.com
NEW YORK (CBS.MW) -- The November contract for crude oil settled near $30 a barrel in Friday trade, while October natural gas declined on worries about the progression of Hurricane Isidore.
A decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to leave production quotas unchanged did little to direct crude prices Thursday. The quota is at an 11-year low. See previous story.
On Friday, November crude rose 10 cents to settle at $29.84 a barrel after reaching an intraday high of $30.15. November becomes the front month contract Monday; the October contract expires at Friday's close. Crude for October delivery closed for trading at $29.61, up 11 cents.
October heating oil lost 0.11 cent to settle at 78.70 cents a barrel, and October unleaded gasoline added 1.33 cents to settle at 81.41 a barrel.
Natural gas for October delivery dropped 9.8 cents to settle at $3.758 per million British thermal units as Tropical Storm Isidore turned into a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico with warnings out along the entire coastline. Most U.S. producers have assets in the Gulf, and they lease their equipment from U.S. offshore service providers.
The PSE Oil Service Index /zigman2/quotes/210598360/realtime OSX -3.41% lost 1.9 percent to close at 73.62, but the CBOE Oil Service Index was up 0.3 percent to close at 261.28. The Amex Natural Gas Index lost 1.7 percent to close at 126.61. See Energy Stocks.
On Thursday, the Natural Gas Supply Association said an improving economy, better demand and a tightening of supplies would combine to apply "upward pressure" on prices for natural gas this winter. See full story.
Shares of major metals took back Thursday's gains as gold futures prices declined. Gold for December delivery shed 7 cents to settle at $323.20 an ounce on the Commodities Exchange division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. However, the contract is up close to $5 from the start of the week. See Metals Stocks.
The Reuters/CRB Index, a broad-based measure of the commodity futures market, dropped 0.7 percent to 226.87.