Oil Prices on an Extended Decline

U.S. oil prices continued to drop for the second day on Wednesday with the dollar gaining strength and energy data showing an increase in United States crude and gasoline stockpiles, which hampered OPEC attempts to end global glut.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 went down by 37 cents, or 0.6 percent, closing at $62.64. It fell 90 cents the previous session. Brent crude LCOc1 has declined 40 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $66.23 a barrel. It fell by 87 cents and reached $66.63 a barrel the day before.

Crude inventories increased by 933,000 barrels to 421.2 million during the week. Fatih Birol, the International Energy Agency Executive Director,  mentioned on Tuesday that the United States would overtake Russia as the world’s biggest oil producer by 2019.

Dollar hits a three-week high

On Wednesday the dollar reached a near three-week high against a group of currencies. This was after the optimistic views of Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman, on the U.S. economy which gave room for bets on further Fed interest rate hikes this year.

The dollar index closed at 90.414. This was all after hitting almost 90.50 on Tuesday, its strongest level in almost three weeks. The dollar rose 0.1 percent against the yen, closing at 107.43 yen. This was after gaining 0.4 percent on Tuesday. The Euro stood at $1.2235. This was after it slipped to $1.2221 briefly recording its lowest point since Feb. 9. The Euro lost its momentum ever since it hit a three-year high of $1.2556 on Feb. 16.

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