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Oil Settles Above $75

The July delivery contract added $1.34, or 1.8%, to settle at $75.12 a barrel on Monday.



) -- Crude oil prices gained alongside a broad equity rally that lost steam near the end of Monday's session.

The energy sector was the session's weakest despite a 1.8% jump in crude prices as the July delivery contract gained $1.34, to settle at $75.12 a barrel. The contract traded as high as $75.99 a barrel, while also dipping to $74.04 a barrel during the trading day.

On the Dow,


(CVX) - Get Report


Exxon Mobil

(XOM) - Get Report

occupied opposite ends of the spectrum with Chevron shares trading near the top on gains of 0.2%. Exxon Mobil, meanwhile, was among the laggards as shares lost 0.6%.


(BP) - Get Report

shares got hit hard during Monday's session, losing nearly 10%, which landed it among the

New York Stock Exchange

's worst performers as the company said costs in response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill have hit $1.6 billion already. The firm has also been seeing increased pressure from both President Obama who traveled to the Gulf of Mexico on Monday to meet with local officials, and the public as it contemplates how to handle its dividend. The White House ordered BP to put together a compensation fund running in the billions dedicated to helping persons hurt in the spill and Obama plans to meet with BP executives at the White House on Wednesday.

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Elsewhere in the energy sector, stocks were largely mixed and the NYSE Arca Oil index slipped 0.4% lower, while the Philadelphia Oil Service Sector index lost 1.4%. The

U.S. Oil

(USO) - Get Report

ETF, meanwhile, added 0.3%.

Earlier, Stephen Schork, energy analyst at editor of the Schork Report, said currency and equity movements were the primary culprits behind crude's leap higher.

The euro, for instance, strengthened on better-than-expected European industrial production numbers, according to

The Wall Street Journal

and a sharply-lower

dollar increased the appeal of dollar-priced commodities.

However, both U.S. stocks and the euro lost momentum later in Monday's session following a

Moody's downgrade to Greece's credit rating, knocking it to Ba1 from A3 with a stable outlook. Stocks ended Monday's session largely flat, with only the


finishing slightly higher.

Elsewhere on the Nymex, the July natural gas contract added 23 cents, or 4.7%, to settle at $5.01 per million British thermal units. July heating oil gained 2 cents, or 1%, to settle at $2.03 a gallon and July gasoline rose 3 cents higher, or 1.3%, to settle at $2.08 a gallon.

--Written by Sung Moss and Melinda Peer in New York