Fresh economic concerns about the euro debt crisis pressured light, sweet crude futures to fall Friday below the $80-mark for the first time in six weeks.
Despite a recovery in Friday's U.S. stocks, investors looked abroad to the European and Asian markets, which suffered further losses on Friday. Oil continues to fluctuate as the market see-saws between optimism—hoping that the European Central Bank will soon ease the region's debt crisis—and pessimism over the global outlook.
In a volatile trading session, crude futures traded within a range of $77.55 to $81.81 a barrel, before settling at $79.85 a barrel. Meanwhile, ICE Brent ended Friday's trading session at $103.97 a barrel, down 1.4 percent from its previous session. For the week, WTI fell by 9.2 percent while Brent lost 7.35 percent, the largest weekly percentage losses since the week to May 6.
October natural gas also fell Friday for a fourth consecutive session on mild weather forecasts. Although natural gas prices lost less than a penny, this marked the lowest finish in nearly a year. Natural gas fluctuated between $3.69 and $3.76 to settle at $3.70 per thousand cubic feet Friday.
Gasoline for October delivery ended 0.2 percent lower Friday and down 8.24 percent for the week. RBOB settled at $2.55 a gallon with an intraday range of $2.54 to $2.61.
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