Commodity Corner: WTI Settles Below $80



Light sweet crude oil for November delivery lost 3.6 percent Friday, settling at $79.20 a barrel.

The WTI declined on a lackluster U.S. demand outlook, coupled with a stronger dollar against the euro. Although the German parliament this week backed an increase in the euro-zone rescue fund, doubts linger about a resolution to debt crises in Greece and elsewhere in the region. Amid this backdrop, the November Brent contract price shed 1.1 percent to end the day at $102.76 a barrel.

Also dimming oil demand expectations Friday was HSBC and Markit Economics' release of China's latest purchasing manager's index (PMI). A key indicator of the health of the Asian powerhouse's economy, the PMI showed that China's manufacturing sector continued to stagnate in September.

The WTI traded within a range from $78.60 to $83.23 while the Brent fluctuated from $101.83 to $104.77.

November natural gas fell to $3.66 per thousand cubic feet before edging upward to $3.67, reflecting a 2.1 percent day-on-day loss. The front-month contract price peaked at $3.79 in earlier trading.

October gasoline posted a gain of less than a penny, ending the day just below $2.63 a gallon. Earlier, it had plunged to $2.58. The intraday high was $2.66.