Oil below USD 69 in Asia as dollar strengthens | business | Hindustan Times
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Oil below USD 69 in Asia as dollar strengthens

business Updated: Jun 25, 2009 10:52 IST

Oil prices fell in Asian trade on Thursday on a stronger US dollar after the US Federal Reserve reaffirmed its policy of keeping interest rates at near zero.

New York's main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in August, shed 15 cents to USD 68.52 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for August delivery declined 16 cents to USD 68.17.

The dollar's performance is a key factor in the oil market because a stronger greenback makes the dollar-priced commodity more expensive for holders of other units, dampening demand and leading to lower prices.

The dollar had a boost after the policy-making Federal Open Market Committee of the US central bank left the base federal funds rate in a range of zero to 0.25 per cent, saying the recession was easing although the economy would remain weak for some time.

Earlier, the greenback was bolstered by a surprisingly strong reading on US durable goods orders, a positive sign for the manufacturing sector and the overall economy.

Conflicting signals about the strength of a recovery for the recession-hit global economy have led to volatile swings in oil prices recently, with some analysts saying prices were recovering too fast amid weak demand.