Light, sweet crude settled lower Tuesday after the record of a recent Federal Reserve meeting failed to meet traders' expectations.
Oil futures for November delivery settled 54 cents lower Tuesday at $81.67 a barrel after Fed policymakers released details of their September meeting. The minutes of the meeting indicated that several board members believed additional steps might be needed for the struggling economy.
The dollar gave up earlier gains on release of the meeting minutes. The drop came too late in the trading session to help crude prices. Analysts anticipate the dollar will fall lower if the Fed purchases government securities next month. Meanwhile, the euro and stocks rebounded following the Fed's minutes. NASDAQ and S&P 500 were up slightly, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased by nearly 30 points in afternoon trading.
Earlier Tuesday, crude fell on speculation that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will leave production quotas unchanged. Investors moved to lock in profits ahead of the OPEC meeting, which is set to take later this week.
The intraday range for crude futures was $80.88 to $82.33 Tuesday.
Natural gas futures rose 2.8 cents Tuesday as traders were reluctant to bet prices would fall with the upcoming winter's gas-heating demand. Henry Hub natural gas settled at $3.63 per thousand cubic feet after fluctuating between $3.55 and $3.67.
Reformulated gasoline blendstock, or RBOB, ended Tuesday's trading session 1.9% lower, at $2.12 a gallon. Gasoline prices peaked at $2.16 and bottomed out at $2.12 Tuesday.
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