Dollar's Lift Keeps Lid on Crude - TheStreet

Crude oil futures were moving lower in early trading at the New York Mercantile Exchange, pressured by an overnight display of strength by the U.S. dollar.

West Texas crude for October delivery was falling $1.77 at $119.41 a barrel, and Brent futures were losing $1.62 at $118.54 a barrel. Reformulated gasoline was down 6 cents at $2.98 a gallon, heating oil was off 6 cents at $3.24 a gallon, and near-month natural gas was 8 cents weaker at $8.17 per million British thermal units.

The dollar was up against most major foreign currencies Friday morning. A euro was buying $1.4819, down more than a half-cent against the dollar compared with yesterday's settlement prices, and the British pound sterling was down 1.9 cents vs. the dollar, with a pound recently buying $1.8588. The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the value of the greenback against a basket of global currencies, was up 0.72% at 76.59.

The price of oil tends to fall when the value of the dollar rises, because oil is denominated in U.S. dollars in international energy markets. A reversal in the dollar's long-term declining trend has been a major contributor to the 19% drop in value that crude markets have seen since late July.

Meanwhile, falling crude prices were weighing heavily on energy stocks early Friday.

BP

(BP) - Get Report

was recently down 1.7% at $57.40,

ConocoPhillips

(COP) - Get Report

was 1.47% lower at $83.81,

Chevron

(CVX) - Get Report

was down 0.7% at $87.89, and shares of

Exxon

(XOM) - Get Report

were 0.4% lower at $80.11.

The

U.S. Oil Fund

(USO) - Get Report

, an exchange-traded fund that closely tracks the performance of WTI crude oil contracts on the Nymex, was recently down 2.2% at $96.06.