NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Key U.S. data releases could be mixed to positive for the dollar during this week. The eurozone macroeconomic factors are showing an upturn. A weaker dollar may result in higher crude oil prices. However, inherent fundamentals, such as higher inventory, could limit the upside in prices. Overall, crude oil is anticipated to trade with a positive bias during the week.

Natural gas is expected to trade higher on the improved demand outlook, as reported by National Grid plc. Declining inventory levels may propel an upward momentum in natural gas prices. However, increasing rig counts, according to Baker Hughes, may limit the price rise.

In the past week, crude oil NYMEX futures for September delivery were up 3.29%, reaching a high of $79.60 per barrel to finally settle at $78.98. Crude is witnessing weekly trend line resistance at the $81.25 levels, while support is seen at $78.30. The momentum indicator, RSI (14) day, is treading at 0.497 levels, indicating the potential to move higher.

Natural gas future prices gained as much as 1% last week, reaching a high of $4.699 per MMBtu to finally settle at $4.563 per MMBtu level. Gas is witnessing crucial resistance at $4.677 levels. The momentum indicator, RSI (14) day, is treading at 0.445 levels and has the potential to move higher.

Recap of Last Week

The entire week was bullish for crude oil, driven by equities and the improving euro-zone macroeconomic fundamentals. However, prices dropped from a two-month high on increasing inventories.

Natural Gas August futures prices on the NYMEX traded mixed last week, closing 1.35% higher. Gas prices inched up on a DOE report, which showed a decrease in gas inventory and disruption in supply due to floods in Central Australia. However, price increases were limited as Baker Hughes Gas rig count in the U.S. stood at 982, at a 17-month high.

During the past week, integrated oil and gas majors Exxon Mobil ( XOM), Chevron ( CVX), ConocoPhillips ( COP) and Total ( TOT) were up 3.0%, 2.8%, 3.7% and 0.7%, respectively. BP ( BP) was down 0.6% last week.

Other oil and gas producers Occidental Petroleum ( OXY), Apache ( APA) and Devon Energy ( DVN) inched up 3.5%, 12.1% and 4.5%, respectively.
Karvy Global Services (www.karvyglobal.com), a subsidiary of the Karvy group (www.karvy.com), provides specialized research in asset classes including stocks, mutual funds and insurance to leading Wall Street firms.