Oil traded near its lowest closing price in three days before a weekly report on supply and demand levels in the U.S., erasing earlier gains as the dollar strengthened.
West Texas Intermediate was little changed, having given up an increase of as much as 0.7 percent. A stronger dollar typically undermines investors’ appetite to protect against inflation through purchasing commodities. The Energy Department may say today that stockpiles climbed 2.2 million barrels, a Bloomberg News survey showed. Saudi Arabia can increase output by 25 percent immediately, Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said yesterday.
Crude for May delivery was at $106.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 12:54 p.m. London time. The contract dropped $2.49 yesterday to $106.07, the lowest close since March 15. The euro erased gains against the dollar to trade at $1.3222 in New York. The 17-nation currency reached an almost two-week high earlier. The Dollar Index, which tracks the U.S. currency against those of six trading partners, climbed as much as 0.2 percent after declining 0.4 percent earlier today.
-- Editor: John Buckley