Oil up on Iran, German data, but strong dollar curbs rise
By Robert Gibbons
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices rose on Thursday on strong German economic data and uncertainty about negotiations on Iran's nuclear program, even as a strong dollar curbed oil's bounce a day after futures tumbled 6 percent.
Brent crude rallied 4 percent intraday as European equities strengthened on German industrial output and trade data and Greece's repayment of a loan to the International Monetary Fund. [MKTS/GLOB]
Also supportive was Iran saying it will only sign a final nuclear accord if all sanctions imposed over its disputed nuclear program are lifted the same day.
"The German data provided some lift early because it comes even before the expected economic boost from central bank quantitative easing and any sign that an agreement with Iran isn't going to get done is bullish," said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.
Dollar-denominated oil pared gains on the strong dollar, which was driven higher by sentiment that U.S. interest rates inevitably will rise. [USD/]
Brent May crude LCOc1 rose $1.02 to settle at $56.57 a barrel, having reached $58.02.
U.S. May crude CLc1 rose 37 cents to settle at $50.79, after hitting $52.07. U.S. crude's Tuesday close near $54 was the strongest since Dec. 30.
"The dollar's strength helped pull crude off the highs and the big jump in inventories is still a factor," said Gene McGillian, senior analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. Continued...