The price of oil fell to near $95 a barrel on Monday, as the dollar continued to strengthen against the yen and other major currencies.
Benchmark oil for June delivery fell 87 cents to finish at $95.17 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The stronger dollar is pushing down oil prices, analysts said. In recent days, the dollar has risen against the euro, and it passed the 100-yen mark last week for the first time in four years.
Since oil is traded in 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.
And weak refining data from China further undercut crude. Government statistics showed China’s refining output in April was the lowest since last August.
Brent crude, which is a benchmark for many international oil varieties, was down $1.09 to end at $102.82 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
U.S. drivers saw gasoline prices drift higher over the weekend, up two cents since Friday, to a national average of $3.58 a gallon.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
- Wholesale gasoline fell 4 cents to finish at $2.82 a gallon.
- Heating oil lost 2 cents to end at $2.89 a gallon.
- Natural gas rose 2 cents to finish at $3.93 per 1,000 cubic feet.