LONDON: Oil prices rose yesterday as a weaker dollar offset official data revealing a larger-than-expected jump in US crude stockpiles, traders said.
New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in November, rallied $1.68 to $103.72 a barrel.
Brent North Sea crude for November climbed $1.01 to stand at $108.95 in late London deals.
The euro soared against the dollar yesterday as Italy averted a political crisis and the European Central Bank signalled more efforts to boost recovery in the eurozone.
A weaker dollar makes crude oil priced in the US unit cheaper for buyers holding rival currencies, boosting demand.
The US Department of Energy, meanwhile, yesterday said American crude reserves grew by 5.5 million barrels last week, far higher than analyst expectations for a gain of 2.1 million.
The United States is the world’s biggest consumer of crude oil and the weekly report provides an indication of the strength of energy demand in the country.
Elsewhere yesterday, the oil minister of Libya, where crude production has been choked off owing to strikes, said he hopes to quickly resume the country’s normal output of 1.6 million barrels per day.
“We managed to reach agreement with most people, just a few people are still making problems for us,” Libyan Oil Minister Abdelbari Al Aroussi said yesterday in London.
Libyan output plummeted to below 150,000 barrels per day at one point as strikes over alleged corruption shut production and export facilities, which helped keep global oil prices high.
Aroussi said they government was not resorting to force and was hopeful it could soon persuade the holdouts to return to work.
“As soon as we solve this issue, I believe that we can put back production in 3-4 days,” Aroussi said at the Oil & Money conference.