Commodity Corner: A Banner Week for Oil, Gasoline
Thanks to a weaker dollar and positive Chinese manufacturing news, the front-month crude oil contract price surged to its highest point in nearly two months.
The price of a barrel of crude settled at $81.58, a $1.61 gain from the previous day. The greenback continued its slide against the euro, making oil a better value for traders. Also, an important indicator of China's manufacturing growth, supported oil. The China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing reported a 4.1% increase in its Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) from August to September. In the U.S., however, the Institute for Supply Management's own PMI experienced a 1.9-percentage-point drop to 54.4 during the same period. According to ISM, the manufacturing sector and the overall economy continue to grow but at slower rates.
The intraday range for oil Friday was $79.70 to $81.47. Oil ended the week up 6.6%.
Natural gas prices, meanwhile declined as a result of a mild weather forecast and abundant inventories. November gas futures fell seven cents to settle at $3.80 per thousand cubic feet. Natural gas, which traded from $3.79 to $3.87 Friday, is unchanged for the week.
Gasoline for November delivery capped off an impressive week by settling at $2.09 a gallon, a five-cent improvement from Thursday. The front-month gasoline price traded from $2.03 to $2.09, and it ended the week up 7.2%.