Commodity Corner: Oil Settles Higher on Greek Bailout Hopes

Crude oil for July delivery gained 25 cents Monday to settle at $93.26 a barrel.

Monday's increase reflected investors' optimism that the Greek government will be able to broker a debt restructuring deal with the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Eurozone finance ministers met through the weekend to develop a bailout deal to prevent Greece from defaulting on its public debt.

In order to qualify for a loan from the EU and IMF, the Greek government needs to adopt austerity measures. An austerity plan proposed by the ruling Socialist government includes tax hikes, spending cuts, and privatizations. The proposal has generated considerable discontent among the Greek populace.

Crude oil peaked at $93.49 and bottomed out at $91.14 Monday.

Summer officially begins Tuesday in the Northern Hemisphere, but the Upper Midwest and Northeast regions of the U.S. have been experiencing a dearth of scorching temperatures lately. Thanks to these mild conditions and expectations of more of the same, cooling demand has not been higher than normal. July natural gas lost a penny to end the day at $4.32 per thousand cubic feet.

Natural gas traded within a range from $4.28 to $4.38 Monday.

The front-month price for a gallon of gasoline fell four cents to settle at $2.91 Monday. July gasoline fluctuated from $2.90 to $2.95.