Commodity Corner: Crude Hits 10-month Low

The price of light sweet crude oil nosedived Thursday, reaching its lowest point since July 2009. However, it regained some lost ground by the end of the day's trading.

Thanks to pessimism about the U.S. economic recovery and the prospects for declining unemployment, coupled with concerns about Europe's ability to deal with a regional debt crisis, the price of a barrel of crude settled at $68.01 Thursday $1.86 lower than the previous day's close. The decline could have been considerably worse, however, given the intraday low of $64.24. In contrast, the high for the day was $71.29.

The lackluster economic news on both sides of the Atlantic also placed downward pressure on the natural gas price for June delivery, which settled five cents lower Thursday at $4.11. Thursday's decline, however, was likely tempered by an Energy Department report finding below-expected net injection into storage last week. Natural gas traded within an intraday range of $4.04 to $4.20.

The gasoline futures price fell below the $2.00 mark Thursday, settling at $1.96 after reaching a high of $2.02 and bottoming out at $1.92. Wednesday's settlement price was $2.02.