SINGAPORE – Oil prices rose to above $99 a barrel Friday in Asia as a weaker U.S. dollar made commodities cheaper for investors with other currencies.
Benchmark crude for June delivery was up 87 cents to $99.31 a barrel in late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The June contract, which expires later Friday, fell $1.66 to settle at $98.44 on Thursday.
In London, Brent crude for July delivery was up 21 cents to $112.14 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.
The euro rose to $1.4338 on Friday from $1.4309 late Thursday while the dollar dropped to 81.63 yen from 81.69 yen.
Crude has bounced around in the upper-$90s most of this week as investors eye a volatile dollar and mixed signs about the strength of the global economy and oil demand.
The International Energy Agency said Thursday that higher fuel costs — crude jumped to near $115 earlier this month from $84 in February — threaten to slow the global economic recovery. Japan said its economy slipped into recession last quarter after gross domestic product fell an annualized 2.3 percent in the January-to-March period.
"The fundamentals for commodity prices are starting to weaken as the world economy slows and supply recovers from recent shocks," Capital Economics said in a report.
In other Nymex trading in June contracts, heating oil rose 1.7 cents to $2.91 a gallon and gasoline dropped 0.8 cents to $2.92 a gallon. Natural gas futures slid 0.5 cents to $4.09 per 1,000 cubic feet.