Oil futures prices bounced around Thursday, at risk of halting an eight-session rally that has taken the U.S. benchmark to four-week highs and pushed both contracts out of bear-market territory.
A slightly stronger U.S. dollar also helped to push oil lower, as the firmer buck makes U.S. crude more expensive for investors using another currency.
In Thursday dealings, West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery picked up 32 cents, or 0.6%, to $52.65 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, reversing course after trading lower earlier in the session. Goosed by an over 5% gain, it settled Wednesday at $52.36 a barrel, for the highest finish since Dec. 13. Prices have now climbed out of a bear market, rising by 23% from its 52-week low of $42.53 on Dec. 24, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
March Brent crude rose 44 cents, or 0.7%, at $61.88 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. Its settlement a day earlier at $61.44 also marked the highest finish since mid-December.
Source : Marketwatch