marketwatch-U.S. crude-oil futures stabilized during Asian trading hours Wednesday as a weakened dollar lent some support to the commodity after a string of recent losses.
The front-month contract for delivery in April CLJ3 +0.25% inched up 4 cents to $92.67 a barrel after moving about in a range between $92.58 and $92.90 in electronic trading.
In his testimony about the Federal Reserve’s Semi-Annual Monetary Policy Report, Chairman Ben Bernanke says monetary policy alone cannot drive the economic recovery. Photo: Getty Images.
The April futures had dropped 48 cents overnight on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest finish for a front-month contract since late December.
Despite Wednesday’s marginal gain, oil futures are still down about 5% in February, weighed by worries over the Italian political situation, a well-supplied market and a firm dollar.
Data released by the American Petroleum Institute at the end of the regular Nymex session on Tuesday showed an increase of 904,000 barrels in crude-oil supplies in the U.S.
“We still expect U.S. crude oil stocks to trend higher seasonally until April or May, providing there is still room in the storage tanks,” said Timothy Evans, an energy analyst at Citi Futures.
The more closely-watched inventories data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration is expected later Wednesday.
April futures for Brent UK:LCOJ3 +0.13% rose 9 cents to $112.80.
The ICE dollar index DXY -0.11% , which measures the greenback’s moves against a basket of six major global currencies, slipped to 81.848 by mid-afternoon in Tokyo, compared with 81.852 in North America late on Tuesday.
Elsewhere in the energy complex, Nymex April gasoline futures RBJ3 -0.11% slipped 0.1% to $3.20 a gallon and heating-oil futures HOJ3 +0.18% for delivery in the same month were little changed at $3.03 a gallon.
April natural-gas futures NGH13 +0.12% climbed 0.1% to $3.46 per million British thermal units.