Dollar weakens, equities strengthen, oil rises from 7 week lows

Crude oil for March delivery rose by over a dollar to US$72.3 a barrel on the Nymex, and to US$71.6 in London. Late last week, the contract fell to the lowest settlement since Dec. 15, as higher-than-forecast job losses in USA depressed global stock markets and commodity prices. However, crude oil futures have rebounded from this 7 week low as equities gained and a weakening US dollar made crude oil more appealing for hedging inflation. The dollar weakened to US$1.3680 vs the Euro from US$1.3678. Oil also gained on supply concerns caused after Nigerian rebels said they disabled a pipeline operated by Royal Dutch Shell Plc. Recovery in oil prices is being driven by sentiments rather than fundamentals, led by the dollar. Currently, since there are no signs of underlying demand picking up, prices are expected to dip again. OPEC is scheduled to meet on March 17 to consider whether to alter output targets for the first time since 2008.
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