Oil declines as dollar strengthens
Oil fell for the first time in three days as a stronger dollar trimmed demand for commodities and a report showed US crude stockpiles increased last week.
Oil fell as much as 1.3pc as the dollar strengthened against the euro amid concern Greece will fail to secure financial assistance from the European Union.
Crude oil inventories grew last week to the highest level since August, according to a US government report yesterday.
“The dollar’s up, and we’re reverting back to the standby correlation,” said Brad Samples, a commodity analyst for Summit Energy Inc in Louisville, Kentucky.
Oil reached a 10-week high near $83 a barrel yesterday and “will probably stagnate” if it doesn’t break $84 to $85 in the next week or so, he said.
Crude oil for April delivery fell 43 cents, or 0.5pc, to $82.50 a barrel at 9:46am on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
It settled at $82.93 yesterday, the highest close since January 6. Oil has risen 71pc in the past year.
The dollar gained 0.4pc against the euro to $1.3677 at 9:47am in New York from $1.3738 yesterday.
US crude oil inventories rose last week for a seventh week to 344 million barrels, according to the US Energy Department, the highest level since the week ended August 7. Supplies are 5pc higher than the five-year average.
Petrol stockpiles declined 1.71 million barrels to 227.3 million in the week ended March 12, 3.6pc above the five-year average. It was the second consecutive decline.
Petrol for April delivery lost 1.69 cents, or 0.7pc, to $2.2928 a barrel on the Nymex.
Brent crude for May settlement fell 41 cents, or 0.5pc, to $81.55 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.