NewsCrude Oil Starts the Week with Gains
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AnalysisCrude oil futures for June settlement continued the upside move with the start of a new week and stretched higher even with the low volume of trading in Asia and Europe on Eater Monday.

Crude oil rose to the high of $113.05 per barrel from the lows of $111.94 per barrel and currently hovering higher by 0.44% around $112.78 per barrel.

The weak dollar and the escalating violence in the Middle East fueled the gains for crude with the start of the week despite the losses seen for open Asian equity markets, with the lead of China on fears of rising inflation and the pressure on growth.

Oil was supported by comments from Senator John McCain that said Libyan rebels need more assistance in the fight against leader Muammar Qaddafi’s forces; while in return they also supported prices by saying they need nearly a month to repair damage to oil facilities to restore production capacity.

The dollar remains weak this morning and hovering slightly above its three-year lows according to the dollar index. The Index that gauges the dollar strength against its six major trading partner rose slightly from its weakest in three years and now trading marginally flat around 74.04 recording the high of 74.26 and the low of 73.91.

Trading remains high volatile today with the focus on the coming days with major data on queue from the US GDP to the FOMC rate decision, as investors see the possibility for the Feds to signals protracted loose monetary policy. The developments in the Middle East and growth figures from across the markets this week will be the trigger for crude movement where excessive gains and mounting pessimism over the outlook from rising commodity prices might eventually reach oil and trigger the correction, yet for now the gains are still seen.

Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong markets were still closed today and will be returning tomorrow and in Europe the volume is dropping still with all major European markets away on Easter Monday. On Friday markets were closed on Good Friday and the US will return later today in the market yet the European session is expected to be very calm with the absence of investors and the US session will be volatile yet volumes still expected low.