Crude oil dropped again on Monday amid demand worries with stock markets in the red. The drop took prices towards the $50 per barrel mark again.
Light sweet crude finished at $51.05, down $1.46 for the session. Prices touched as low as $49.81 in afternoon trading.
The dollar rebounded modestly against other majors on Monday, reducing the hedge value of commodities. The greenback rose off of a 10-day low versus the euro and also recouped some of its recent skid versus the pound.
Traders looked ahead to the Energy Information Administration's weekly inventory report. Last week's data showed crude oil inventories increased 2.8 million barrels from the previous week. Experts were looking for a build of about 3 million barrels. Total motor gasoline inventories increased 2.2 million barrels last week. A drop of about 1.5 million barrels was expected.
There was no major economic data scheduled for release on Monday. Wednesday will bring wholesale trade data while import and export prices will be announced on Thursday.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama told Turkish lawmakers Monday that he stood behind their bid to join the European Union. The president also stressed that the U.S. remains a friend to the Muslim world, even as the country fights Islamic terrorism.
In other news, the U.S. Treasury Department has extended the deadline for applications to its public-private initiative to buy up distressed assets from banks. The deadline has been pushed out two weeks until April 24.
At the pump, gasoline prices slipped slightly across the U.S. According to AAA, a regular unleaded gallon of gasoline averaged $2.039, down slightly from the day before. Prices are above the month-ago level of $1.946 but well-ahead of the year-ago mark of $3.324.
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