Commodity Corner: Oil, Natural Gas End the Day Mixed

Crude oil for November delivery edged slightly upward Monday.

The price of a barrel of oil increased by three cents to settle at $76.52 amid an environment of declining equities markets, a weakening dollar relative to the euro, and continued ample supplies. The stock markets are expected to take cues Tuesday from the release of U.S. consumer confidence data; the direction of oil is expected to follow whatever course equities will take.

Monday's oil futures price peaked at $77.17 and bottomed out at $75.52.

The minimal risk of a tropical system affecting energy infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico caused the front-month natural gas price to shed 2% of its value Monday, with October natural gas falling eight cents to settle at $3.80. Forecasters do not expect a disturbance in the northwest Caribbean Sea to become a threat to the Western and Central Gulf. Should the low-pressure system materialize into a tropical cyclone, it is expected to target Cuba and Florida.

October natural gas traded within a range from $3.73 to $3.83 Monday.

Gasoline for October delivery ended the day unchanged, settling at $1.95 a gallon. The intraday range for gasoline was $1.92 to $1.95.