On Thursday, the last trading day of 2020, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) lost 0.2%, or 11 cents, to $48.29 a barrel.
Brent was trading down 25 cents, or 0.5%, at $51.38 a barrel.
“It is kind of year-end quiet but a weaker dollar is helping keep a floor under markets,” said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi.
Brent and WTI have more than doubled from decade-lows seen in April, putting past a year which marked the first negative prices for WTI that shocked investors globally.
Asian shares are set to end a tumultuous 2020 by hovering near record highs on Thursday while riskier currencies cruised near 2-1/2-year peaks, buoyed by hopes that COVID-19 vaccine rollouts will help the world beat the pandemic.
The dollar was ending 2020 in a downward spiral on Thursday with investors wagering a global economic recovery will suck money into riskier assets even as the yawning U.S. twin deficits argue for an ever cheaper currency.
In the short-term, concerns over coronavirus lockdowns are likely to cap gains.
A new variant of the virus in the United Kingdom has led to the reimposition of movement restrictions, hitting near-term demand and weighing on prices, while hospitalizations and infections have surged in parts of Europe and Africa.
On the supply front, U.S. energy firms this week added 3 oil and natural gas rigs to the best quarter for boosting the rig count since the second quarter of 2017, according to data from Baker Hughes.
A Jan. 4 meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, including Russia, a group known as OPEC+, is set to boost output by 500,000 barrels per day in January. 29dk2902l