Heating oil and unleaded gasoline futures rose Friday as buyers sought to cancel earlier sales on the last day to trade January futures contracts on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

January home heating oil contracts finished 0.65 cent per gallon higher at 51.31 cents. January gasoline deliveries rose 0.91 cent to settle at 55.90 cents per gallon.The February contracts, which will represent the near-term delivery price beginning Tuesday, finished at 51.23 cents for heating oil and 53.78 cents for gasoline.

Investors who had bet on a drop in heating oil and gasoline prices this past month had to buy contracts to reverse their positions before the expiration. "Short" investors sell borrowed contracts in hopes of buying them back later at a lower price to repay the loan.

With the final day to trade January contracts, the investors had to repay the loan whether the price had fallen or not.

Since the end of 1993, heating oil futures prices have fallen more than a nickel.