Commodity Corner: Oil Settles Lower on Weaker Euro

Crude oil for January delivery settled lower Monday as the dollar strengthened against the euro.

Oil on the January contract ended the day at $81.74, a 24-cent decline from Friday, as the euro slipped 0.4 percent against the greenback. Although Ireland has agreed to a bailout plan from the European Union to shore up its banks amid a serious debt crisis, lingering concerns that Portugal and Spain are the next EU countries in line for bailouts were bearish for the euro. Because oil is priced in dollars, a stronger dollar makes it less attractive to buyers holding other currencies.

January crude traded within a range from $80.68 to $82.87 Monday. Oil settled at $81.51 Friday on the December contract, which has expired.

The National Weather Service expects the Midwest and Northeast to experience colder-than-normal temperatures through next week. Given the regions' anticipated greater electricity demand during this period, December natural gas settled 11 cents higher at $4.27 per thousand cubic feet. It traded from $4.125 to $4.28.

Although the American Automobile Association expects more motorists to be on the road for this year's Thanksgiving holiday, December gasoline ended the day a nickel lower at $2.15 per gallon.

The front-month gasoline price fluctuated Monday from $2.13 to $2.215.