Commodity Corner: Oil Plummets to Lowest in More Than a Year



Ending lower for the third consecutive session Tuesday, light sweet crude plummeted to its lowest point in more than a year. Losses
continued to pile on as concerns over the euro-zone debt crisis linger.

At its weakest close since Sept. 23, 2010, front-month crude lost $1.94 to settle at $75.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Its European counterpart Brent crude also ended lower at $99.79 a barrel, falling below the psychologically significant $100-mark. Brent crude fell 1.9 percent to settle at its lowest level since Feb. 7.

Earlier Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told the Joint Economic Committee of Congress that the Fed is "prepared to take further action" to help an economic recovery that is "close to faltering". Bernanke's remarks helped ease worries about the European
debt. Fear has spread to other debt-stricken European nations, such as Italy and Spain, after European lawmakers over the weekend postponed giving financial assistance to Greece after the debt-laden country reported limited progress in reducing its budget deficit.

The intraday range for WTI was $74.95 to $77.99 and $99.17 to $101.67 for Brent crude.

In other NYMEX trading, November natural gas rebounded Tuesday to add 2.1 cents. After fluctuating between $3.59 and $3.657, natural gas settled at $3.638 per thousand cubic feet.

Reformulated gasoline blendstock, or RBOB, fell 2.26 cents to settle at $2.4884 a gallon.