- Commodity Corner: Oil Gains on Positive Economy Outlook
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
by Saaniya Bangee
Light, sweet crude soared Tuesday on positive U.S. housing data and hope that the European debt crisis may soon be resolved.
Oil futures gained $1.57 Tuesday after the U.S. Commerce Department reported a surge in housing starts. According to data, June housing starts jumped 14.6 percent to a five-month high. An increase in housing starts represents an improvement in the economy.
However, analysts anticipate markets to remain restless until a Thursday meeting, during which European officials will discuss an additional bailout for Greece.
President Barack Obama released a statement Tuesday indicating some progress on U.S. debt-ceiling talks. Consequently, the euro rose higher against the greenback. Measuring the dollar against major foreign currencies, the dollar index edged lower Tuesday.
After fluctuating between $95.93 and $98.65, crude for August delivery settled at $97.50 a barrel, up $1.57. Likewise, its European counterpart gained $1.01 to settle at $117.06 a barrel. The intraday range for September Brent crude was $116.09 to $118.45 a barrel.
In other NYMEX trading, August natural gas lost 2 cents to end Tuesday's trading session at $4.511 per gallon. Meanwhile, front-month reformulated gasoline blendstock (RBOB) rose 0.6 percent, settling at $3.11 a gallon. Prices traded between $3.10 and $3.15 Tuesday.
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