Commodity Corner: Oil Settles Higher After Sharp Drop



Crude oil for June delivery gained $1.05 to end a volatile trading day at $99.49 a barrel.

The front-month contract plunged to an intraday low of $95.99 as the U.S. dollar gained 0.75 percent against the euro. Oil becomes a better value for investors holding non-U.S. currencies when the dollar grows weaker because crude is priced in dollars.

Given the relative value of the expiring June oil contract relative to the higher July contract price, however, oil rebounded later Friday as investors sensed a buying opportunity. Crude topped out at $99.49 for the day and is down less than 0.2 percent for the week.

A day after falling 2.6 percent following a U.S. Energy Information Administration report showing a higher-than-expected build in inventories, June natural gas gained 14 cents to settle at $4.23 per thousand cubic feet. Buoying Friday's rally were forecast models predicting above-normal temperatures throughout the eastern U.S. for the remainder of the month. Warmer conditions in the region would likely boost demand for electricity to power air conditioners.

June natural gas traded within a range from $4.08 to $4.26 Friday. It is down 0.5 percent for the week.

The June gasoline contract gained a penny to end the day at $2.94 a gallon. It fluctuated from $2.86 to $2.96. June gasoline has fallen 4.2 percent since last Friday.