Oil Prices Head South as Greenback Gains, WTI Trading Around $51 Per Barrel

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures for delivery in December were 1.4% lower at $51.08 per barrel during Thursday’s pre-market trading session while Brent oil futures for delivery in the same month were down by 1.5% at $51.85 per barrel.

The pre-bell price declines partially erase gains recorded on Wednesday after government data showed that inventories of oil contracted by more than expected. It also coincides with an increase in the value of the greenback.

WTI and Brent crude rose by 2.6% and 1.9%, respectively, on Wednesday after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that US commercial crude oil inventories had decreased by 5.2 million barrels to 468.7 million barrels in the week ended October 14.

This was larger than the American Petroleum Institute’s forecast, released on Tuesday, for a drop of 3.8 million barrels, and erased the 4.9 million barrel gain recorded by the EIA in the prior week.

The Dollar Index, which tracks the value of the greenback against a basket of foreign currencies, was 0.07% higher at the time of writing. As a dollar-denominated commodity, a higher US currency tends to make oil less affordable to international buyers.

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