Commodity Corner: Oil Settles Higher Monday

Decisions over the weekend by OPEC and the Chinese government gave the price of crude oil a lift Monday.

January crude oil settled at $88.61 a barrel, an 82-cent gain from Friday, after the oil cartel agreed to leave their production quotas unchanged. Also boosting oil was China's decision not to increase interest rates as it seeks to curb inflation.

Oil traded within a range from $87.44 to $89.49 Monday.

With below-normal temperatures affecting a broad swath of the U.S. from the Upper Midwest to South Florida, many Americans likely are awaiting relief in the form of more seasonable conditions. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), temperatures should begin to moderate later this week. As a result, natural gas for January delivery ended the day unchanged at $4.42 per thousand cubic feet.

Front-month natural gas peaked at $4.55 and bottomed out at $4.32.

Gasoline for January delivery edged up by a penny Monday, settling at $2.32 a gallon. The price of the commodity fluctuated from $2.30 to $2.36.