Commodity Corner: Crude Climbs on Weaker Dollar
Crude futures retreated Tuesday's earlier losses as the dollar weakened against foreign currencies.
Light, sweet crude gained $1.03 to settle at $108.15 a barrel. Tuesday marks the last trading session for the May contract.
Reaching as low as $105.50 a barrel, oil prices reversed course soaring in afternoon trading. As the dollar weakened, the euro gained strength on speculation that the European Central Bank will further increase interest rates. Additionally, strong economic data from France and Germany outweighed fears of Greece restructuring its debt. A weaker greenback increases crude's appeal amongst foreign buyers, making it cheaper.
Prices also bounced back from Monday's lows after Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner assured there was "no risk" that the U.S. government debt would lose its top-tier rating.
Meanwhile in the Middle East, OPEC Secretary General Abdullah Al-Badri said there isn't a shortage of oil in the global market, even after the supply disruptions in Libya. OPEC believes an increase in crude production will not decrease oil prices worldwide.
Likewise, natural gas futures for May delivery rose to two-week highs settling at $4.26 per thousand cubic feet. The 12.4-cent increase came on a surprising surge in the Midwest's heating demand Tuesday. An unusual drop in weather across most of the Northwest and upper-Midwest and unexpected warmth in the south has increased demand for fuel. The intraday range for natural gas was $4.13 to $4.28 Tuesday.
As retail gasoline rose, May gasoline continued to decline, trading down 1.97 cents Tuesday. Futures settled at $3.23 a gallon increasing concerns that fuel costs will hinder economic recovery and decrease demand for motor fuel in the U.S. Gasoline prices peaked at $3.259 a gallon, before bottoming out at $3.198 Tuesday.