Crude oil's trial run at $100 a barrel fell short, as prices dropped to $96 per barrel Tuesday as the legs went out from under Monday's rally.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil for October delivery dropped to $96.11, recently dropping 51 cents on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Oil was closing in on $100 per barrel when the Obama administration announced it would file a complaint with the World Trade Organization charging China with unfairly subsidizing its auto industry.
Fearing a trade war would escalate, traders pulled back, at which point a sober assessment of the global economy showed the market could not support $100 per barrel just yet.
Natural gas added 0.4 cents early to $2.869 per million British thermal unit. Home heating oil shed 0.13 cents to $3.1621 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline lost 0.15 cents to $2.9418 per gallon.
At the pump, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $3.859 per gallon, down from Monday's $3.862, AAA reported.