Crude-oil futures settled lower on Monday, but held their ground above $103 a barrel as traders weighed support from violence in Egypt and worries over the region’s oil trade against pressure from a firmer dollar.Crude for August delivery lost 8 cents, or 0.1%, to settle at $103.14 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices last week jumped 6.9%, the largest weekly percentage gain since late February 2011, according to FactSet data.
On Friday, oil prices advanced 2% to $103.22, the highest settlement price for a most-active contract since May 2012, finding support after a larger-than-expected 195,000 new jobs were added to the U.S. economy in June, raising prospects for energy demand.Weakness Monday came as the U.S. dollar rose against the euro and other currencies, keeping the ICE dollar index around a three-year high. A stronger greenback can hurt dollar-denominated oil prices by making oil futures more expensive for holders of other currencies.“The market has moved sharply into backwardation, despite no major change in the market balance,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research. Backwardation refers to a situation in which the price of a commodity for future delivery is lower than the spot price.