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EhtesadOnline: Oil prices rose on Friday on the back of a weaker US dollar, although demand concerns stemming from rising coronavirus cases and escalating US-China tensions kept a cap on prices.

The dollar slid to 22-month lows against a basket of currencies. 

A weaker dollar usually spurs buying of commodities priced in the greenback, like oil, because they become cheaper for holders of other currencies, CNBC reported.

Brent crude rose 21 cents, or 0.5%, to $43.52 a barrel, and US West Texas Intermediate crude rose by 12 cents, or 0.3%, to $41.19.

“Crude prices are attempting to stabilize as expectations still remain high that Congress will be successful in delivering another pandemic relief package” for the United States, said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in New York.

“Yesterday’s US economic data showed that the economic recovery is struggling and pretty much guarantees more federal aid is coming.”

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose to 1.416 million last week for the first time in nearly four months, suggesting US economic recovery is stalling amid a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.

The US economic outlook has darkened in the past month amid renewed lockdowns in some states from surging coronavirus cases, according to economists in a Reuter’s poll who warned of a high risk the job recovery underway reverses by year-end.


oil Dollar Prices coronavirus US-China tensions