Oil prices climb at end of volatile week
Oil prices rose on Thursday at the end of a volatile week for markets and as trading wound down ahead of the Easter break.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in June, rose 68 cents to $112.13 a barrel in early trades.
Brent North Sea crude for June gained 45 cents to $124.30 in London deals.
Markets will shut Friday on both sides of the Atlantic for Easter festivities.
"Crude oil prices extended gains (Thursday) following the weak US dollar that currently dominates and supports the oil market," said Myrto Sokou, an analyst at Sucden Financial brokers.
"It should be noted that crude oil prices have gained almost $5 since the start of the week, showing that the upside rally continues to remain strong despite these uncertain and fragile economic conditions.
"However, as we are heading toward the long Easter holiday weekend, trading volumes might be light with potential for some consolidation in the recent high levels," she added.
Crude prices had closed higher in New York on Wednesday after an unexpected drop in US energy reserves and a sharply weaker dollar, which makes dollar-priced commodities cheaper for other currency holders.
Oil prices had slumped at the start of the week after ratings agency Standard & Poor's cut its US debt outlook to "negative" and as key industry bodies expressed concern about the impact of high energy costs on demand.
© 2011 AFP