Oil fell as low as $86 a barrel on Tuesday before recovering and finishing nearly unchanged.
Benchmark crude settled at $88.72 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 1 cent. Crude was down almost 3 percent Monday, part of a broad sell-off in commodities that pushed gold to its biggest one-day drop in 30 years.
Gold and other commodities regained some ground on Tuesday, and the stock market bounced back from its worst daily decline since November.
Meanwhile, the dollar weakened against the euro and the yen. That made oil, which is traded in dollars, more appealing to investors using foreign currency.
Brent crude, which is used to price oil used by many U.S. refiners to make gasoline, fell 72 cents to finish at $99.91 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London. Brent hasn't traded below $100 a barrel since July.
Lower oil prices are making gasoline more affordable. The national average price for a gallon of regular is now $3.52. That's down 17 cents from a month ago and 39 cents lower than at this time last year.
In other futures trading on the Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline rose 2 cents to end at $2.78 a gallon.
— Heating oil dropped 2 cents to finish at $2.81 a gallon.
— Natural gas rose 2 cents to end at $4.16 per 1,000 cubic feet.
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