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Oil hovers below $74 as traders eye dollar, stocks

Oil hovers below $74 as traders eye dollar, stocks

Oil prices hovered near a six-week low below $74 a barrel Friday in Asia amid a strengthening U.S. dollar and a pullback in global stock markets.
Benchmark crude for March delivery was up 10 cents to $73.74 a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 3 cents to settle at $73.64 on Thursday, the lowest since Dec. 14 when crude dropped to $73.46.
Oil has skidded about 12 percent since reaching $84 a barrel earlier this month as investors eye a stronger dollar and slumping equities. Traders often buy commodities such as oil as a hedge against inflation and a weaker dollar and sell them when the U.S. currency rises.
The euro fell to $1.3930 on Friday in Asia from $1.3972 on Thursday while the dollar little changed near 90 yen.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 1.1 percent Thursday while most Asian stock markets fell in early Friday trading.
Investors are also looking at U.S. crude demand, which has so far not rebounded strongly from a slide last year.
"A clear turning point in the U.S. demand cycle is yet to be reached, still waiting for distillate demand to kick in," Barclays Capital said in a report.
In other Nymex trading in February contracts, heating oil rose 0.47 cent to $1.92 a gallon, while gasoline gained 0.90 cent to $1.93 a gallon.
In London, Brent crude for March delivery rose 11 cents to $72.24 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.


Updated : 2021-05-12 05:16 GMT+08:00