UPDATE 6-Brent rises on weak dollar, WTI falls on estimated stock build

Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:42am EDT
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* Dollar down 0.43 percent amid lower Feb retail sales

* Genscape says Cushing stocks up by 2.2 mln bbls from Mar 6

* Houston Shipping Channel reopens

* April Brent, WTI contracts expire next week (Updates prices; adds Genscape, Houston Shipping Channel detail)

By Himanshu Ojha

LONDON, March 12 (Reuters) - Crude oil futures diverged on Thursday with Brent rising towards$58 a barrel on Thursday as the dollar weakened, while U.S crude futures fell below $48 a barrel after industry monitors estimated another big stock build at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point for U.S. crude.

The dollar fell after U.S. retail sales unexpectedly dropped for a third straight month in February as harsh weather likely dampened consumer spending.

The dollar was down 0.43 percent against a basket of currencies, making dollar-traded commodities such as crude oil more attractive to holders of other currencies.

"A slightly weaker dollar is helping crude prices today," Michael Hewson, chief markets analyst at CMC Markets, said.   Continued...