Oil prices steady after pre-weekend slide
Stronger greenback makes dollar-priced oil more expensive for buyers using weaker currencies, denting demand.
Al-Arab Online  [Published On: 09/03/2015]
As US dollar continues to rally, demand for oil will fall
LONDON - Oil prices steadied Monday after sliding before the weekend as the dollar strengthened in the wake of robust jobs data in the United States, the world's biggest consumer of crude.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in April rose 16 cents to $49.77 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for April fell 25 cents to stand at $59.48 a barrel in midday deals.

WTI had shed $1.15 and Brent crude dropped 75 cents on Friday.

"As the US dollar continues to rally today, the demand for oil will fall and it is hard to see any respite to the oil market at the moment," David Lennox, resource analyst at financial group Fat Prophets, said.

A stronger greenback makes dollar-priced oil more expensive for buyers using weaker currencies, denting demand.

Despite bad winter weather, the world's largest economy added 295,000 jobs in February and the unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent, the lowest level since May 2008, official data showed on Friday.

Lennox said downward pressure came also from US inventories standing at record high levels, adding to flush global supplies.

The US Department of Energy last week said commercial crude inventories jumped 10.3 million barrels in the week February 27, reaching a record high for the fifth consecutive weak.

Crude prices lost about 60 percent of their value to about $40 between June and late January owing to an oversupply in world markets, a weak global economy and a strong dollar.

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