Commodity Corner: Crude Soars on Air Strikes



Crude futures for Monday gained support as the UN-enforced air strikes in Libya escalated concerns of supply shortages.

Briefly peaking at $103.35, crude ended the last trading session for the April contract at $102.33 a barrel. The April contract for crude expires tomorrow.

The $1.26-gain came after Libya's Muammar Gadhafi promised to fight attacks from the U.S. and its allies, while they proceed to protect Libyan civilians.

With recent reports of violence in Syria and Yemen, unrest in the Arab world continues to spread. According to a Goldman Sachs analyst, turmoil in the Middle East creates a $10 a barrel risk for oil prices.

Meanwhile, analysts predict an increase in Japan's oil consumption as a result of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis.

April's natural gas retreated from earlier highs in anticipation of the spring season. Before settling at $4.16 per thousand cubic feet Monday, natural gas prices briefly peaked at $4.23 on colder weather forecasts. Natural gas futures bottomed out at $4.11.

Gasoline futures added 4.80 cents to end Monday's trading session at $2.997 per gallon. The intraday range for gasoline was $2.98 to $3.01.