Oil lifted by weak dollar in volatile trade
By Robert Gibbons
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. crude prices rose on Thursday in volatile trading on lift from a weak dollar that slumped to its lowest level since 2008.
Brent crude posted a small gain after also seesawing and both contracts saw thin trading volumes ahead of a long holiday weekend.
Investors bought oil as a hedge against a tumbling dollar as the dollar index hit its lowest since 2008 against a basket of currencies and had its all-time low in sight.
Disappointing reports on factory activity and U.S. initial jobless claims cast doubt on the pace of U.S. economic recovery and energy demand growth, limiting oil's gains.
Brent crude for June rose 14 cents to settle at $123.99 a barrel, having earlier pushed up nearly $1 to $124.81, the highest since April 11.
U.S. crude for June rose 84 cents to settle at $112.29, bouncing off a session low of $111. U.S. crude posted a 2.4 percent weekly gain.
Thin trading volumes made prices more volatile. Total U.S. crude volumes were 39 percent below the 30-day average, and Brent volumes 46 percent below, according to Reuters data during post-settlement trading.
Oil markets in the United States and Europe will be shut on Friday for a holiday. For details click on . Continued...