Commodity Corner: Oil Down on China Monetary Action



Oil for January delivery declined by 58 cents Friday after the Chinese government took action to cool off the country's sizzling economic growth.

Oil settled at $87.79 a barrel amid concerns that China's decision to tighten bank-reserve requirements will soften demand for the commodity. The action constituted an effort to temper inflation resulting from the country's rapidly growing economy. The monetary policy move is considered less extreme than raising interest rates.

Crude oil traded within a range from $87.10 to $89.00 Friday. It is down 1.8 percent for the week.

Front-month natural gas fell 1.5 cents to end the day at $4.42 per thousand cubic feet on predictions of slightly warmer weather in the Midwest and Northeast. The January benchmark fluctuated from $4.34 to $4.48, and it is down 1.6 percent for the week.

January gasoline settled at $2.31 a gallon Friday, a three-cent drop from the previous session. It peaked at $2.35 and bottomed out at $2.29. Gasoline is down 1.3 percent for the week.