Oil futures rose Tuesday, finding support with the U.S. dollar steadying after a bounce and following reports of possible explosions in Saudi Arabia.
West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery rose 33 cents, or 0.6%, to $53.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. March Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 33 cents, or 0.6%, to $56.21 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.
“Oil prices remain at the mercy of external factors such as the U.S. dollar and the financial markets for now,” said Eugen Weinberg, commodity analyst at Commerzbank, in a note.
The ICE U.S. Dollar Index, a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, fell 0.1%. The index, which slid in 2020, has seen a modest January bounce. A stronger dollar can be a drag on commodities priced in the currency, making them more expensive to users of other currencies.
Meanwhile, financial markets continue to reflect appetite for assets perceived as risky, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite ending at all-time highs on Monday.
Analysts said some support could also be tied to news reports that said two loud booms were heard over Riyadh, a few days after Saudi Arabia said it intercepted an apparent missile or drone over its capital.