Commodity Corner: Oil Does it Again



A day after settling at its highest point in two years, crude oil futures on Friday set the proverbial bar a bit higher.

Oil for January delivery settled at $89.19 a barrel, a $1.19 improvement over the previous day. It received support from a stronger euro, which rose more than 3 percent against the greenback after falling to $1.298 on Tuesday. The stronger euro's effect on oil compensated for weaker jobs numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor. The agency reported Friday that the country's unemployment rate inched closer to 10 percent—9.8 percent, to be exact—last month.

Crude oil traded from $87.14 to $89.49 Friday. It is up 4 percent from Monday's settlement.

Continued predictions of below-normal temperatures through next week in the Midwest and Northeast nudged natural gas upward by a penny Friday. January natural gas ended the day at $4.35 per thousand cubic feet after fluctuating from $4.28 to $4.39. Gas settled 3.3 percent lower at the beginning of the week.

Front-month gasoline fell by a penny to settle at $2.35 a gallon Friday, but the January contract price ended the week nearly six percent higher. Gasoline traded within a range from $2.33 to $2.36.