Brent oil climbs above $58 on weaker dollar, Iraq fighting

Brent oil futures rose more than a dollar to above $58 a barrel on Thursday as the dollar weakened and Iraqi security forces battled Islamic State fighters in Tikrit.

Brent for April delivery LCOc1 was up $1.16 cents at $58.70, after gaining $1.15 during the previous session in a rebound from a one-month low.

West Texas Intermediate CLc1 climbed 28 cents to $48.45 a barrel, after closing the previous session down 12 cents.

The April contracts for Brent and WTI expire next week.

“A slightly weaker dollar is helping crude prices today.

“We’ve still got a significant supply glut. Overall, I think the buyers are starting to shift a little bit lower,” said Michael Hewson, chief markets analyst at CMC Markets.

Unrest in the Middle East also supported prices.

Iraqi security forces and mainly Shi’ite militia exchanged fire with Islamic State fighters in Tikrit on Thursday.

The dollar fell after U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell for a third straight month in February as harsh weather likely dampened consumer spending.

The dollar was down 0.83 per cent against a basket of currencies, making dollar-traded commodities such as crude oil more attractive to holders of other currencies.

(Reuters/NAN)

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