Light, sweet September crude futures reversed a five-day streak of losses Tuesday, thanks to a weaker U.S. dollar and rallying equities markets.
The front-month contract settled 53 cents higher at $75.77 a barrel. Crude prices continued to follow stocks and rose Tuesday, due to the 1.7 percent increase in housing starts for July, as reported by the Commerce Department's U.S. Census Bureau. Additionally, U.S. government reports showed that for the first time in four months, U.S. producer prices increased in July. The U.S. industrial production was also higher, easing economic fears.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up about 164 points in afternoon trading, along with the NASDAQ and S&P 500. Analysts reported a strong improvement in the market sentiment.
Oil topped off at $75.01 and bottomed out at $76.63 during Tuesday's trading.
Natural gas for September delivery also settled slightly higher Tuesday as a tropical disturbance was identified in the Atlantic Basin. Although the National Weather Service reports a low probability of a tropical cyclone forming, the system has helped the futures price to settle higher at $4.27 per thousand cubic feet. The intraday range for natural gas was $4.19 to $4.32.
The price of a gallon of gasoline futures settled at $1.95, up about three cents from Monday, after trading between $1.93 and $1.97.
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