Oil prices rose again Thursday on data suggesting the US crude glut is easing as the dollar weakened against the euro.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for June delivery rose $1.05 to $59.63 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
European benchmark Brent oil for June delivery gained 94 cents to $66.78 a barrel in London.
Analysts said the oil market continued to react to Wednesday’s US Department of Energy inventory report, which showed a 500,000 barrel drop in petroleum stocks to 61.7 million barrels at the key Cushing, Oklahoma trading hub.
While the decline was modest, it marked the first drop since late November. Traders are taking the decline as a sign producers are cutting back at key US petroleum sites, such as the Bakken region in North Dakota, analysts said.
“The oil price ‘wants’ to rise – this is the impression one is bound to gain if one looks at the events that have taken place on the oil market in recent weeks,” Commerzbank said.
“Certainly market participants are paying more attention and responding more to the ‘positive’ rather than to the ‘negative’ reports.”
Oil prices were given an additional upward push by the retreat in the dollar against the euro and some other currencies following Wednesday’s US economic report showing growth of just 0.2 percent in the first quarter.
A Fed statement Wednesday left open the timing of an increase as it waits for more signs of economic progress.
A weak dollar encourages consumption of crude and other dollar-denominated commodities outside the US.