Commodity Corner: Crude Rally Continues

Despite disappointing U.S. economic data, light, sweet crude oil for September delivery settled up at $82.55 a barrel, the highest since May 4.

The $1.21 increase was supported by a weaker U.S. dollar, making dollar-denominated oil more attractive to foreign buyers. Moreover, traders anticipated that supplies will decrease due to the effects of Tropical Storm Bonnie. Traders saw a weaker dollar and lower interest rates as an opportunity to stock up on oil.

The intraday range for oil was $81.11 to $82.64.

Gasoline crept upward, adding 2.5 cents to reach the highest settlement in nearly three months at $2.19 a gallon. Gasoline fluctuated from $2.16 to $2.20.

Meanwhile, natural gas futures fell, settling at $4.64 per thousand cubic feet Tuesday after trading from $4.63 to $4.83.