Oil prices mixed after pre-weekend slide

9th March 2015, Comments 0 comments

Oil prices were mixed Monday after sliding before the weekend as the dollar strengthened on the back of robust jobs data in the United States, the world's top crude consumer.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in April climbed 67 cents to $50.29 a barrel. WTI had shed $1.15 on Friday.

Brent North Sea crude for April fell 62 cents to stand at $59.11 a barrel in late London deals.

"As the US dollar continues to rally today, the demand for oil will fall," David Lennox, resource analyst at financial group Fat Prophets, told AFP.

A stronger greenback makes dollar-priced oil more expensive for buyers using weaker currencies, denting demand.

Despite bad winter weather, the world's largest economy added 295,000 jobs in February and the unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent, the lowest level since May 2008, official data showed on Friday.

Lennox said downward pressure came also from US inventories standing at record high levels, adding to flush global supplies.

The US Department of Energy last week said commercial crude inventories jumped 10.3 million barrels in the week of February 27, reaching a record high for the fifth consecutive week.

Crude prices lost around 60 percent of their value to about $40 between June and late January owing to an oversupply in world markets, a weak global economy and a strong dollar.

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© 2015 AFP

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