Crude Oil Climbs Above $124 a Barrel

Futures set a new high of $123.69 in the daytime session at the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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Crude futures soared past $124 a barrel for the first time ever in afternoon electronic trading Thursday after setting a new high of $123.69 in the daytime session at the New York Mercantile Exchange.

West Texas crude for June delivery recently was up 70 cents at $124.39 a barrel. Brent crude was $1.34 higher at $123.66 a barrel. Reformulated gasoline climbed a penny to $3.15 a gallon, and heating oil also rose 1 cent, to $3.52 a gallon.

Near-term natural gas was fractionally higher at $11.27 per million British thermal units.

"The surge in energy is being fueled by both technical and speculative interest, as both groups continue to pile into the markets on the back of continued concern about supply cutbacks," said Edward Meir, energy analyst at MF Global, in a research note. "There seems to be no stopping energy markets."

Meanwhile, energy stocks moved in tandem with their underlying commodities.

ConocoPhillips

(COP) - Get Report

gained 1.8% to $89.45, and

Chevron

(CVX) - Get Report

moved 2.3% higher to $97.44. Shares of

Exxon Mobil

(XOM) - Get Report

climbed 1.3% to $89.93.

Among the independent producers,

Apache

(APA) - Get Report

rose 1.7% to $138.18, and

Chesapeake Energy

(CHK) - Get Report

advanced 0.8% to $56.55.