Commodity Corner: Crude Gains on German Vote

Crude futures shrugged off previous economic worries Thursday after the German parliament approved to increase the euro-zone rescue fund and the U.S. posted positive economic news.

Light, sweet crude oil gained 93 cents to settle $82.14 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The Labor Department reported that first-time unemployment benefits last week fell to a five-month low. For the week ending Sept. 24,
jobless claims decreased by 37,000 to 391,000. In addition, investors saw evidence against a double-dip recession as the gross domestic product (GDP) for the second quarter was slightly above expectations. The GDP increased at an annual rate of 1.3 percent, higher than the estimated 1.0 percent, reported the Commerce Department.

Earlier Thursday, German lawmakers voted to expand the bailout fund for the euro-zone's troubled economy. With Germany on board, now more than half of the region's 17 members have approved of the rescue package.

Brent crude futures for November delivery also settled higher on the German vote. At $103.95 a barrel, Brent added 14 cents Thursday. The euro's decline against the dollar pared Brent's gains.

The intraday range for WTI was $79.64 to $83.98 and $102.50 to $105.77 for ICE Brent.

November natural gas lost 5 cents in its first full front-month contract. After fluctuating between $3.685 and $3.837 Thursday, natural gas settled at $3.75 per thousand cubic feet. Likewise, gasoline ended 3 cents lower at $2.6192 a gallon.