Oil Surges Past $82 on Weak Dollar, Econ Optimism

Traders opened wallets for both commodities and equities Monday as a weaker dollar made its denominated assets more appealing and news of rising consumer spending on the domestic front stoked economic optimism.

Ending a four-session losing streak, the price of light, sweet crude oil for May delivery led the rally in commodities by rebounding more than $2 to a bullish price tag of $82.17 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volumes were relatively light ahead of the holiday weekend.

Additionally, NYMEX gasoline futures for April closed the session in positive territory at $2.26 a gallon. The energy product's front-month contract will expire on Wednesday.

On the opposite side of the energy coin, natural gas spot prices at the Henry Hub continued a downward movement to $3.84 Mcf primarily due to waning demand exiting the winter heating season.

"We had a little bit of fireworks going in the oil pits today," noted Phil Flynn, vice president in charge of research at Chicago-based PFG Best.

"There were a lot of factors at play today," the analyst continued. Flynn pointed to broader financial movements in the U.S. and euro zone markets helping to lift the price per barrel of crude.

Specifically, prices across the petroleum complex firmed at the open of today's session as the euro gained on the U.S. currency, spurred by Greece's issuance of a seven-year bond to pare down its debt.

Taking commodities along for the ride, Wall Street rallied on encouraging government data spotlighting continued strength in U.S. consumer spending for the month of February.

"Today's attack in Moscow was another bullish event feeding the bull market on a day with lighter-than-expected volumes," added Flynn, underscoring geopolitical concerns arising from a suicide bombing that claimed 38 casualties in Russia.