Oil prices gain as firm demand outweighs dollar strength

Mon May 25, 2015 2:34pm EDT
 
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By Nia Williams

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Crude oil futures rose on Monday as firm global demand offset a strong dollar, although a holiday in the United States and much of Europe kept trading muted.

Front-month Brent crude LCOc1 gained 53 cents to $65.90 a barrel by 1750 GMT (01:50 p.m. EDT), after touching an intraday low of $64.72. U.S. crude CLc1 was up 8 cents at $59.80 a barrel.

The market drew support from figures showing strong demand across Asia and the United States.

"Global oil demand continues to surprise to the upside, with April data showing no signs of slowdown despite a pick-up in prices," Energy Aspects said in a note.

Japan's customs-cleared crude oil imports rose 9.1 percent year-on-year to 3.62 million barrels per day (bpd) in April, the Finance Ministry said.

In China, crude imports hit a record 7.4 million bpd last month, with healthy car sales countering a slowing economy.

In the United States, the peak summer driving season started with Memorial Day on Monday, and the American Automobile Association said road travel was expected to reach a 10-year high over the long weekend.

The dollar held near two-month highs against the euro EUR= and yen JPY=, as well as a one-month peak against a basket of currencies .DXY.   Continued...

 
An oil well pump jack is seen at an oil field supply yard near Denver, Colorado February 2, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking