Commodity Corner: Brent Falls on Libyan Woes



With Libya's six-month conflict nearing an end, crude futures rose 2.3 percent Monday. On Monday, Libyan rebels announced they had taken control of a majority of the country's capital, advancing in efforts to oust leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Light, sweet crude for September delivery gained $1.86 to settle at $84.12 a barrel. Priced traded as low as $81.13 a barrel, after an earlier intraday peak of $84.67. The front-month contract expired at the end of the floor trading session.

Brent, which serves as a barometer for international oil, fell 36 cents on expectations that Libyan oil exports could resume fairly soon. Prior to the civil war, Libya exported 1.3 million barrels a day of high-quality oil. Supply disruptions in Libya and the North Sea have pushed Brent futures past the $100-mark this year. Earlier in the session, Brent futures bottomed out at $105.15 a barrel before settling at $108.26 a barrel.

September natural gas traded 5.1 cents lower at $3.89 per thousand cubic feet Monday on bearish weather forecasts. Forecasts predict a significant drop in temperatures for the upcoming weeks. Higher temperatures boost the demand for natural gas.

In addition, forecasts predict that Hurricane Irene, the first hurricane of this year's Atlantic hurricane season, is unlikely to disrupt vital production areas in the Gulf of Mexico.

The intraday range for natural gas was $3.853 to $3.928 Monday.

Reformulated gasoline blendstock, or RBOB, lost less than a penny Monday to settle at $2.835 a gallon.