Commodity Corner: EIA Report Boosts Oil, Gasoline

July oil futures rose yet again Wednesday on news that U.S. gasoline demand increased last week.

The price for a barrel of light sweet crude oil settled at $77.67, up from Tuesday's settlement of $76.94. A U.S. Department of Energy report released Wednesday shows that U.S. gasoline demand rose by 144,000 barrels per day to 9.34 million b/d for the week ending June 11 -- a 1.6% increase from the previous week. The finding supported the view that an economic recovery is underway, which in turn spurred another price rise for oil. Crude oil traded from $76.06 to $77.90 Wednesday.

Given the DOE's report on gasoline demand, gasoline futures also increased Wednesday. The July contract price gained three cents to settle at $2.15 a gallon. Gasoline's intraday range fluctuated from $2.10 to $2.16.

Natural gas lost ground Wednesday, losing 21 cents to settle at $4.98 per thousand cubic feet. The natural gas price ranged from $5.02 to $5.25.