Crude Oil finished slightly lower after a volatile session Thursday, as the U.S Dollar firmed and traders digested upbeat economic news and a bigger-than-expected drop in U.S. stockpiles in the previous session. Crude earlier rose to a high of $73.16 a barrel and fell to a low of $70.40 a barrel.
On Wednesday, Oil rose more than 2% after the Energy Department reported a bigger-than-expected drop of 4.7 million barrels in U.S. stockpiles of the commodity in the week ended Sept. 11. Oil remains unable to top the upper end of its trading range at $73 a barrel without a new trigger, analysts said.
Oil has tracked equities markets closely in recent months as dealers look to stocks as a leading indicator of an economic recovery that could boost ailing energy demand. What happens to the Dollar, stock market and Gold are now driving the Oil market on a daily basis. A weaker Dollar can fuel purchases of Oil and other Dollar-denominated commodities, as they become relatively less expensive to non-Dollar holding investors.