The price of natural gas plunged to a 6 1/2-year low on Tuesday amid lingering demand concerns.

Natural gas for May delivery settled at $3.562 per million British thermal units, down 17 cents on the session. This marks the lowest finish since Dept. 2002.

Traders looked ahead to the Energy Information Administration's weekly inventory report, which is due at 10:30 a.m. ET on Thursday. Last week's data showed natural gas stockpiles were unchanged in the week ended March 27.

In other energy trading, light sweet crude for May delivery dropped to $49.43, down $1.62 for the session. Prices hit as low as $49.34 earlier in the session.

Traders looked ahead to the EIA data's release, which is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. ET. Economists are looking for a build of about 2.3 million barrels in the week ended April 3.

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.

Traders looked ahead to some key economic data later in the week. Wednesday will bring wholesale trade data while import and export prices will be announced on Thursday.

The dollar rallied against the euro and sterling amid some worries about earnings season, which pushed traders toward the lower-yielding currency. The buck eased versus the yen.

Gold for June delivery finished at $883.30 an ounce, a gain of $10.50 for the session. It was the first gain in four sessions for the precious metal.

For comments and feedback: contact