Oil Rises

Crude oil rose in New York and was poised for an 9.5 percent gain this week as the dollar fell to a four-month low against the euro, drawing investors to crude as an inflation hedge.
TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg 5/22/2009 8:45:20 AM

Oil also gained as fighting between militants and the army in Nigeria’s Niger River delta region escalated, reducing the West-African country’s fuel output.

Crude oil for July delivery rose as much as 77 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $61.82 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was at $61.73 a barrel at 1:01 p.m. in London.

Demand for commodities as an alternative investment increases as the dollar drops because oil and gold traditionally hold their value against the falling currency. The dollar fell to $1.3953 per euro as of 12:29 p.m. in London after reaching $1.3981, the lowest since Jan. 5. Crude prices were 80 percent correlated with the decline in the dollar against the euro since the beginning of the year, according to Bloomberg data.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries may keep output quotas unchanged for a second time this year as recovering oil prices reduce the need for new supply cuts, according to a Bloomberg survey. The group will maintain a production target of 24.845 million barrels a day when it meets May 28, according to 25 of 27 analysts surveyed. OPEC agreed last year to three production cuts to bolster prices.

Brent crude for July settlement rose as much as 82 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $60.75 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange. It was at $60.74 a barrel at 1:01 p.m. in London.