Crude Oil Above $102 On Iran Tensions and Positive Data (USO, UHN, UNG, BHI, DVN, SHI, PDC, XOM, MRO, BP)

New York, January 3rd ( –  Crude oil futures jumped over $3 to above $102 a barrel on the first trading session of 2012 driven by ongoing tensions between Iran and the US and solid rally in equities after a gauge of U.S. manufacturing hit a six-month high in December.

Crude-oil futures for February delivery rose $3.44, or 3.5%, to $102.25 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after reaching session high of $102.88.

This morning, a top Iranian general issued a warning to the U.S. against returning one of its aircraft carriers to the Persian Gulf.

Moreover, strong data from China’s manufacturing activities also provided solid support to the commodities. The China Purchasing Managers’ Index for December came at 48.7, compared to a 47.7 reading for November.

In U.S. economic news, The Institute for Supply Management reported its manufacturing survey jumped to 53.9 last month from 52.7 in November.

United States Oil Fund LP (ETF)  (NYSE:USO) added 1.24 (3.25%) to $39.35. United States Heating Oil Fund, LP (NYSE:UHN) was up 1.05 (3.19%) at $33.92. However, United States Natural Gas Fund, LP  (NYSE:UNG) was down 0.02 (-0.31%) to $6.44.

Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) soared 4.14% to $50.65 after the company said that g its new president and CEO, Martin Craighead, has officially taken over the duties in his new role.

Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN) added over 6% to $65.76 after the company reached an agreement with Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical (ADR)(NYSE:SHI) to sell one-third of its interest in 5 separate venture plays for $2.2B. shares of SHI also rose over 5.50%.

Pioneer Drilling Company(AMEX:PDC) climbed 6.51% to $10.31 after the company agreed to acquire privately-held Go-Coil for ~$110M in a cash deal that the firm says will add to earnings this year.

Most of the large cap energy stocks are trading higher on back of jump in crude oil with Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) surged 1.55 (1.83%) to $86.31, Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) added 1.23 (4.20%) to $30.50 and BP plc (ADR)(NYSE:BP) 1.23 (4.20%) rose 3.28% to $44.14.

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