Oil prices ended mixed in volatile trading Tuesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange as traders squared their positions on the last day of trading in July contracts.
West Texas Intermediate--the benchmark U.S. crude--sank $1.33 to $19.53 a barrel for July delivery, compared to Monday's close of $20.86 a barrel. Gasoline rose, but home-heating oil declined.
On the U.S. Gulf Coast spot market, where oil is sold to the highest bidder, West Texas Intermediate rose 55 cents to $20.65 a barrel.
Analysts said WTI prices skidded on the Merc as market participants scrambled to honor delivery commitments for expiring July contracts and to switch their interests into later contract months.