Brent crude futures rose four cents, equivalent to 0.1 percent, to set the settlement price at $ 63.20 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude closed down 17 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $ 59.60.
“Crude prices are struggling to find direction under short-term pressures from Covid offset by a much weaker US dollar,” said Edward Moya, chief market analyst at Oanda in New York.
The dollar fell to its lowest level in two weeks against a basket of currencies, citing the decline in Treasury yields, after data showed a sudden increase in weekly US jobless claims.
A weak dollar reduces the cost of oil for holders of other currencies, which usually boosts crude prices.
Meanwhile, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index reached a record high and the Nasdaq recorded its highest in seven weeks, backed by gains for technology stocks, a day after the Federal Reserve renewed its pledge to maintain monetary easing until the economic recovery takes root.
On Wednesday, the US Energy Information Administration said that US stocks of gasoline rose sharply, by 4 million barrels to just over 230 million barrels, as refiners increased production ahead of the summer driving season.
Bjornar Tonhaugen, an analyst at Rystad Energy, said, “The increase in car fuel stocks was not what the market expected, and there have been renewed concerns about the speed of recovery in oil demand.
The fact that car fuel consumption is stable.