Commodity Corner: Crude Falls on Sluggish Consumer Demand

Light, sweet November crude futures ended lower on Tuesday's trading session as concerns about oil and fuel demand outweighed a weakening dollar.

Giving up earlier gains, oil futures dropped 34 cents to settle at $76.18 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The Conference
Board's monthly report on consumer confidence plummeted to its lowest since February. According to the private research group, consumer confidence fell 4.7 points from August to September despite a number of major corporate deals.

The intraday range for oil Tuesday was $75.53 to $77.12 a barrel. The front-month gasoline contract stayed put at $1.95 per gallon
Tuesday, despite a MasterCard SpendingPulse report observing that U.S. weekly gasoline demand hit a four-year low last week. The credit card issuer found that sales fell 0.3% to 8.978 million barrels a day for the week ended Sept. 24.

Reformulated gasoline blendstock for October delivery fluctuated from $1.93 to $1.98.

Meanwhile, October natural gas futures settled higher on speculation of elevated demand from cooler weather. Henry Hub natural gas peaked at $3.90 and bottomed out at $3.78 before settling at $3.84 per thousand cubic feet.