Oil prices: 'April is a bullish month'

chart_ws_commodity_energy_oil.top.pngclick on chart for more on commodities By Laurie Segall, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Oil prices continued to trend up Friday, after ending the first quarter at a two-and-a-half-year high, and most experts think that will remain the case for the foreseeable future.

"Oil is going stay stay firm," said Paul Colby, senior vice president at Planalytics. "It'll probably go even higher."

Crude prices have been volatile over the past three months, as unrest in the Arab world continues to spark worries about potential production disruptions.

Oil prices topped $100 a barrel in February amidst protests in Egypt and Tunisia. The civil war in Libya, Africa's third largest oil producer, also pushed prices higher.

The earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which hosts the world's third largest economy, continued to underpin already nervous sentiment.

On Friday, crude oil settled up $1.22 at $107.94 a barrel.

"Today the fundamentals are still very bullish, and we should continue to go higher." said PFG Best senior market analyst Phil Flynn. "The Middle East situation is not calming down any time," he added.

Flynn attributes the bullish April outlook to higher demand for better quality crude during the switchover period from the end of winter heating season to the summer driving season.

"I hate to give you a bad April fools joke, but the month of April is a very bullish month for oil prices," Flynn said.

The weaker U.S. dollar is also playing a role in the price rise since most commodities, including oil, are priced in dollars.

And the Fed is expected to keep interest rates low -- a move that would keep the dollar weak.

"Low interest rate policy is very good for demand in commodities. Crude oil would feed into inflation and high prices," Platts senior oil analyst Linda Rafield said. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.23%4.19%
15 yr fixed3.26%3.27%
5/1 ARM3.70%3.38%
30 yr refi4.22%4.18%
15 yr refi3.26%3.26%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,279.74 13.75 0.08%
Nasdaq 4,579.79 -13.64 -0.30%
S&P 500 2,010.40 -0.96 -0.05%
Treasuries 2.59 -0.04 -1.60%
Data as of 9:52pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Yahoo! Inc 40.93 -1.16 -2.74%
Microsoft Corp 47.52 0.84 1.80%
Bank of America Corp... 16.95 -0.09 -0.53%
Oracle Corp 39.80 -1.75 -4.21%
Facebook Inc 77.91 0.91 1.18%
Data as of 4:04pm ET

Sections

Law enforcement officials say Frank Tamayo was the middleman in a $5.6 million insider trading scheme that involved him eating pieces of paper to cover up the crime. More

Scotland's clear rejection of independence has eased fears that it could suffer the kind of decline seen in Quebec after it failed to break away from Canada. More

It's really good to be Larry Ellison. The Oracle founder is stepping down as CEO, so maybe he'll have more time to enjoy his glamorous life. More

As Occupy Wall Street goes on its debt-abolishing tear, thousands of people across the country are begging them to forgive their loans. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.