Commodity Corner: Oil Rallies on Positive Economic News

The July light sweet crude oil futures contract rebounded Wednesday, besting Tuesday's settlement price by $2.76.

Oil settled at $71.51 a barrel, a 4% improvement from $68.75 Tuesday. Although ongoing wariness about Europe's debt problems contributed to a selloff on the stock market reports about the overall growth prospects for the global economy bolstered crude oil. Also, new consumer confidence, home sales, and durable goods data suggest that the U.S. economy is recovering. Crude oil traded from a low of $69.21 to a high of $71.65.

Expectations of high electrical demand in the central and eastern U.S., where summerlike temperatures predominate, helped to propel natural gas prices Wednesday. The gas futures price on the now-expired June contract settled at $4.16 per thousand cubic feet, up 11 cents from Tuesday. The intraday high and low prices were $4.32 and $4.14, respectively.

Gasoline prices also rose Wednesday, settling four cents higher at $1.97. A gallon of gasoline traded between $1.95 and $1.98.