Crude oil futures gained to above $101 a barrel level in Europe trade on Thursday as increased fuel demand in the U.S. and weaker dollar buoyed sentiment.
Light Sweet Crude oil futures for July delivery advanced 0.12 percent to $101.45 a barrel and Brent crude oil futures for July delivery gained 0.19 percent to $115.15 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange in London.
The Energy Department said on Wednesday that U.S. commercial crude inventories increased by 600,000 barrels week-over-week in the week ended May 20 against expectations of 1.3 million barrel decline. Four-week average oil demand in the U.S. declined 5.3 percent and gasoline demand dropped 2.1 percent.
Adding to support, the U.S. dollar declined against euro, which made commodities more attractive as an investment, after Chinese officials said Beijing should expand its purchases of euro zone sovereign debt and increase direct investment into Europe.
The dollar index, a measure of the greenback against six major currencies, declined 0.5 percent to 75.65, the lowest level since May 19.
Short-term sentiment was bullish after Wednesday’s report and near-term support stands at the psychologically significant $100 figure. Technically the trading range for Thursday is among the major support at 97.70 and the major resistance at 106.50.