Oil futures finished lower Thursday, with U.S. prices logging their first loss in three sessions as pressure from strength in the U.S. dollar outweighed support from recent data showing sizable weekly declines in crude supplies and production. The U.S. dollar strengthened against most currency rivals Thursday in the wake of upbeat U.S. GDP data, weighing on dollar-denominated oil prices.
West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery shed 27 cents, or 0.6%, to settle at $48.52 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. September Brent crude,-0.11% on the ICE Futures exchange lost 7 cents, or 0.1%, to $53.31 a barrel after a modest rise a day earlier.
WTI prices had posted gains over the past two sessions. On Wednesday, they jumped 1.7% for their second-biggest one-day percentage gain of July.
They were still poised for a weekly gain following Wednesday’s spike on news of weekly declines in both U.S. crude production and inventories.
But traders were “not impressed” Thursday, as the “rally in crude oil didn’t have any follow through,” said Taki Tsaklanos, head of research at Secular Investor.
“Next to that, a surging U.S. dollar is putting pressure on all commodities,” he said. “The dollar is back above its important 50-day moving average since early July, and traders continue to take long positions in the dollar.”