NEW YORK: Oil prices steadied on Friday, but fell for the week on a stronger US dollar and fears that an economic slowdown would weaken crude demand. Brent crude futures settled at $96.72 a barrel, gaining 13 cents.

US West Texas Intermediate crude ended 27 cents higher at $90.77. Both benchmarks fell about 1.5% on the week. Oil briefly jumped in volatile trade on comments made by Richmond Federal Reserve President Thomas Barkin that the Fed would balance its rate hike path with uncertainty over any impact on the economy. But crude pared its gains as investor concerns about upcoming rate hikes settled back in.

Strength in the US dollar hit a five-week high, which also capped crude’s gains as it make oil more expensive for buyers in other currencies. “Although the oil complex has been able to shrug off a strong dollar on any given session, extended strong dollar trends will pose a major headwind against sustainable oil price gains,” Jim Ritterbusch, of oil trading advisory firm Ritterbusch and Associates, said in a note.


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