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Crude Prices Get Support From A Weaker Dollar

Oil prices

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures are edging higher on Friday, putting it in a position to post its fourth straight weekly gain. The catalysts behind the buying strength are supply constraints and a weaker U.S. Dollar. Meanwhile, traders appear to be unfazed by reports that China is set to release crude reserves around the Lunar New Year. The feeling is that there is enough growing global demand to absorb any increase in supply.

US Dollar Headed for Large Weekly Decline

The surprise story this week is the steep drop in the U.S. Dollar despite nearly 90% certainty of a Federal Reserve interest rate hike in March. The dollar is experiencing its worst weekly decline in over a year, making dollar-denominated WTI crude oil a more attractive asset to holders of foreign currencies. This could lead to an even more pronounced drop in U.S. crude oil stockpiles.

China to Drop More Oil on the Market                                                  

Sources told Reuters that China plans to release oil reserves around the Lunar New Year holidays between January 31 and February 6 as part of a plan coordinated by the United States with other major consumers to reduce global prices. The U.S. Energy Department on Thursday said it had sold 18 million barrels of strategic crude oil.

The plan to drive prices lower by increasing supply doesn’t seem to be working with March WTI crude oil overtaking its October multi-year high earlier this week, but then…





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