By Pablo Gorondi, The Associated Press
The price of oil fell to near $95 a barrel on Monday, reflecting the recent strengthening of the US dollar against the yen and other major currencies.
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for June delivery was down 71 cents to $95.33 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 35 cents on Friday.
The stronger US dollar is causing oil prices to fall, analysts said. The dollar has risen in recent days against the euro and last week passed the 100-yen mark for the first time in four years.
Since oil is traded in US dollars, a stronger dollar makes crude and other commodities less appealing to investors with other currencies.
“This, like the stock market, ends up pulling a lot of money out of commodities and into more reliable risk,” said Carl Larry, president of Oil Outlooks and Opinions, a research analysis firm.
An increase in OPEC’s output, which grew by 280,000 barrels to 30.46 million barrels a day in April compared with March, also helped drag down prices by boosting concerns about excess supply.
“The oil market remains oversupplied, with US crude oil stocks at a record level,” said a report from analysts at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.
Brent crude, which is a benchmark for many international oil varieties, was down 91 cents to $103 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline fell 2.53 cents to $2.835 a gallon.
— Heating oil lost 1.09 cents to $2.8953 a gallon.
— Natural gas added 0.5 cents to $3.915 per 1,000 cubic feet.