WTI crude oil prices end a volatile and bearish week back at $98 a barrel, with the fall helped along by increasing US oil inventories, an unexpected jump in weekly US jobless claims and a strengthening US dollar.
WTI Oil Futures – Closing Price
US Light crude oil futures for June 2011 delivery ended the week’s trading session at $98.12 a barrel on the NYMEX, a massive $15.81 a barrel lower than last week’s closing price of $113.93.
WTI Under $100 – Short Lived?
WTI oil futures were last under $100 a barrel in March and despite signs that high oil prices are curbing demand, the market consensus still holds that global oil consumption will increase in the coming months, so WTI oil under $100 may not stick for long.
“We may slip below $100 a barrel, but I would think it will be short-lived.” said Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodity derivatives research at BNP Paribas in London.
Meanwhile, the US dollar rose against major currencies in late New York trading on Friday as rumors spread in the markets that Greece was considering to withdraw from the eurozone.
The ICE US Dollar Index, which tracks the US dollar against six major world currencies ended the week at 74.698 from 74.143 on Thursday, up for five straight sessions.
A stronger US dollar tends to weaken oil prices as they become more expensive for buyers using other currencies.