Crude oil for July delivery settled at $97.30 a barrel Monday.
The $1.99 day-on-day decline reflected investors' pessimism about the outlook for U.S. oil demand and the direction of the national economy. Oil traded within a range from $96.13 to $99.32.
Also falling Monday was the natural gas futures price, which lost 11 cents to settle at $4.65 per thousand cubic feet. The July contract price has enjoyed an uptick lately as temperatures in key U.S. cooling markets have exceeded normal ranges. As conditions in the Northeast and other areas moderate, however, the demand for cooling should fall. Moreover, nuclear power plants are concluding maintenance-related downtime and returning to normal operating levels. Consequently, demand for natural gas to generate electricity should decrease.
July natural gas peaked at $4.81 and bottomed out at $4.61 Monday.
Front-month gasoline lost two cents to end the day just under $3.00 a gallon. The July contract price fluctuated from $2.955 to $3.05.
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