Commodity Corner: Oil Closes Down for the Week

The price of a barrel of crude oil fell nearly $3.00 Friday, capping off a bearish week for the commodity.

Friday's settlement price for crude was $71.61, compared to $74.40 on Thursday. The strong U.S. Dollar relative to the Euro, coupled with recent reports about abundant oil stockpiles, have driven the plunge. Moreover, concerns about possible moves by the Chinese government to cool off that economy's robust growth rate stoked fears about declining oil demand growth. For the week, oil prices have slid more than $5.00.

Natural gas prices took a three-cent dip Friday, settling at $4.31. Gas prices have rallied this month, spurred by optimism that an economic recovery is in the offing. However, recent government reports about very well-endowed stockpiles have yielded some downward pressure on prices. For the week, gas prices are up from Monday's settlement price of $4.17.

Gasoline prices fell seven cents Friday, settling at $2.13 and marking the low point for the week. Monday's settlement price was $2.17.