Commodity Corner: Oil Rises on Weaker Dollar
Crude futures ended a two-day losing streak Tuesday on a weaker dollar.
The Federal Reserve released its June 21-22 meeting minutes Tuesday, in which policy makers discussed whether an additional round of monetary stimulus will be needed. Some officials claim another round of quantitative easing will be necessary if economic growth remains weak.
The greenback weakened Tuesday on the pending stimulus and as fears over the European debt crisis eased. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of major foreign currencies, fell 0.2 percent.
After trading between $93.55 and $97.50, crude for August delivery rose $2.28 to settle at $97.43 a barrel.
Meanwhile, Brent futures settled at $117.75 a barrel, up 51 cents. Brent's gains were curbed on reports that Shell lifted a force majeure on its Nigerian Bonny Light crude oil loadings. The intraday range for ICE Brent crude was $114.95 to $117.83 a barrel.
The front-month Brent crude contract expires on Thursday.
Prices for natural gas continued to increase Tuesday on hot temperatures. According to weather forecasts, the scorching weather is expected to continue until the end of July. Higher temperatures increase the demand for natural gas.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasted an above-average increase in this year's production in its Short Term Energy Outlook. Also, it reported gas consumption is expected to increase by 21 percent in 2011.
Front-month natural gas gained 3.5 cents Tuesday to end the trading session at $4.312 per thousand cubic feet.
RBOB gasoline also ended the day's trading session higher, settling at $3.098 a gallon. Prices peaked at $3.0998 and bottomed out at $3.025 a gallon.