Commodity Corner: Oil Settles Lower Monday

Crude oil for March delivery settled at $87.48 a barrel Monday.

The $1.55 decline from Friday occurred amid signs of easing unrest in Egypt, although it is too soon to tell if the relative calm will be temporary or more lasting.

Officials with the Mubarak regime over the weekend began formal government transition talks with the Muslim Brotherhood and other opposition groups behind recent mass protests. However, there are doubts that the Brotherhood can serve as a stabilizing force in the region as part of a post-Mubarak national government.

Oil traded within a range from $87.53 to $89.54 Monday.

Front-month natural gas fell 21 cents Monday as weather forecasters predicted milder conditions throughout much of the U.S. A warming trend is expected to set in this weekend in the Lower 48, excluding the East and West coastal regions.

March natural gas settled at $4.10 per thousand cubic feet—the low for the day. It peaked at $4.27.

Gasoline futures rose a penny to end the day at $2.45 a gallon. March gasoline fluctuated from $2.44 to $2.47.