03/04/2016 12:30 EST | Updated 03/05/2017 05:12 EST

Oil Prices Approach US$35 Per Barrel

Bloomberg via Getty Images
Heavy machinery operates at a Suncor Energy Inc. oil sands mining operation near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013. Canadian oil companies have benefited as the gap between oil-sands crude grade Western Canada Select and U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate narrowed from a record $42.50 a barrel in December. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg via Getty Images
TORONTO — Oil future contracts are hovering around US$35 a barrel early this morning.

A benchmark April crude contract was at US$35.13 shortly before the North American stock markets opened.

Oil has been flirting with US$35 a barrel for the last few days but hasn't closed above that mark since late January.

The Canadian dollar was at 74.37 cents US, down 0.28 of a cent from Thursday's close.

The April gold contract rose $1.50 to US$1,259.70 an ounce and April copper contracts were at $2.24, up three cents.

The main U.S. stock index futures were slightly positive ahead of regular trading in Toronto and New York.

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