U.S. crude futures fell towards $44.50 a barrel on Thursday after oil stocks rose to their highest level in at least 80 years but a weaker dollar put a floor under prices as the U.S. Federal Reserve indicated a possible interest rate hike as early as June.
U.S. crude for April delivery fell 11 cents to $44.55 by 0031 GMT on Thursday after closing up $1.20, or almost 3 percent, in the previous session. Brent for May delivery rose 16 cents to $56.07 after surging to close up $2.40, or 4.5 percent, in the previous session. In post-settlement, it extended its gain to above $3, or 6 percent, reaching $56.84.
U.S. crude stocks climbed by 9.6 million barrels last week, almost three times more than analysts’ expectations, to a record 458.5 million barrels, data from the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed on Wednesday. Analysts had expected a 3.8 million barrels build.