Commodity Corner: Oil Changes Course from Last Week

The price of a barrel of light sweet crude oil for July delivery increased Monday, changing course from last week.

Speculation that China would hold delay implementing measures to tighten its economic activity helped to lift oil prices by 17 cents to a settlement of $70.21. A belief that the U.S. economy will recover at a better-than-expected pace also contributed to the increase. Crude oil traded between $69.57 and $70.96 Monday.

Natural gas prices, meanwhile, settled two cents lower on Monday at $4.02 per thousand cubic feet. The fact that natural gas storage volumes remain abundant, along with reports of increased gas well drilling, contributed to the decline. The intraday high and low prices for natural gas were $4.07 and $3.99, respectively.

Gasoline settled one penny higher Monday at $1.97 per gallon after trading from $1.95 to $1.99.