Oil rose in Asian trade yesterday, but remained below US$74 as concerns about demand and a strengthening U.S. dollar kept a hold on prices.
New York's main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in March, was up US$0.15 to US$73.79 a barrel.
London's Brent North Sea crude for March delivery gained US$0.07 to US$72.20 .
"Even though it's up... it's quite small so pricing remains relatively flat below US$74," said Victor Shum, a senior principal with international energy consultants Purvin and Gertz.
He added that prices could remain under US$74 for the near term, with the overall market sentiment hampered by concerns over weak energy demand and a stronger dollar.
The euro lost more ground against the dollar in Asian trade Friday as worries deepened about the state of the European economies in light of Greece's debt woes, dealers said.
The European currency was down to US$1.3946 in morning trade from US$1.3966 in New York late on Thursday, and to 125.32 yen from 125.56. The dollar was at 89.86 yen from 89.92. Oil is traded in U.S. dollars and a rise in the currency makes the commodity more expensive to holders of weaker units.
The market has largely shrugged off U.S. President Obama's moves to boost jobs and rein in debt in the world's biggest economy and its largest energy consuming nation.
Obama in his maiden State of the Union address late Wednesday called for legislation to spur jobs as the nation grappled with double-digit unemployment amid a fragile economic recovery.
He also announced various programs to boost small businesses as well as plans to cut spending to stem a ballooning budget deficit.

Updated : 2021-04-12 14:49 GMT+08:00