Tuesday saw oil prices being negatively impacted on Tuesday- a day of being rocked by the Greek crisis and the strengthening dollar. A day after these jolts, oil prices have seen a rise- New York's main contract, light sweet crude for June, moved up to US$83.2 a barrel, while London's Brent North Sea crude for June rose to US$ 86.1. At market closing time, news that the US Federal Reserve maintained interest rates at ultra-low levels, further stimulating the economy, seeped in. The US Department of Energy (DoE) has reported a 1.9 mln barrel rise in the week ending April 23, indicating weaker demand. Crude oil had also fallen on the previous day on increased concerns about a Greek financial crisis after its sovereign debt was slashed to junk status, fanning fears of a default.
A credit rating agency downgraded the sovereign debts of Portugal and Greece - Greek debt was given a "junk" rating and Portugal's debt, which was given a two-notch downgrade, remained in investment grade territory. This news sent the stock markets in USA in a frenzy, propping up the US dollar by more than 1.1% against the euro, as concerns that Greece's money problems could spill into other debt-laden European nations and stifle the fledgling economic recovery spread. A stronger dollar makes crude, which is priced in the U.S. currency, more expensive for foreign investors and stifles demand and prices.