NEW YORK, New York: Oil prices took a beating on Friday, as the U.S. dollar strengthened, while the crude supply is projected to increase after oil prices surged above the coronavirus crisis levels.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dropped $2.03, or 3.2%, to $61.50 a barrel.
Brent crude futures for April, which expire on Friday, dropped 75 cents during the session, or 1.1%, to $66.13 per barrel. The more actively traded May contract declined by $1.69 to settle at $64.42.
Gains in the dollar occurred, as the U.S. government bond yields hovered near one-year highs, thereby making greenback-priced oil costlier for other currency holders.
However, the Brent gained 4.8%, while WTI advanced 3.8% on the week, with both benchmarks rising 20% higher in the month over hindered supplies in the United States and buoyancy over demand in growth with the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programs.
"It's a dicey time - it doesn't seem like a time to load up on a risk-asset position," Bob Yawger, the director of Energy Futures at Mizuho in New York, as quoted by Reuters.
Moreover, the U.S. stockpile report this week indicated an unexpected increase in oil inventories.
Investors have placed their bets on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, a group known as OPEC+, returning more oil to the market at next week's meeting.
The latest available data showed a drop in U.S. crude production in December, according to a monthly report from the Energy Information Administration.
(File photo. Credit Robin Sommer | Unsplash)