Oil climbs above $72 as US dollar slumps

SINGAPORE (AP) a€" Oil prices rose above $72 a barrel Thursday in Asia amid a slumping U.S. dollar and steady OPEC production levels.

Benchmark crude for October delivery was up 85 cents at $72.16 a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Wednesday, the contract rose 21 cents to settle at $71.31.

Crude has jumped from $68 a barrel in two days as the dollar weakened to its lowest level this year. Because crude is priced in the U.S. currency, it becomes cheaper when the dollar falls.

The euro rose Thursday in Asian trading to $1.4577 from $1.4557 the day before and $1.4488 on Tuesday. The dollar was steady near 92 yen.

Leaders of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries have signaled the group will keep crude output unchanged at its meeting this week.

Qatara€™s oil minister Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah told reporters Wednesday in Vienna that OPEC has agreed to keep production quotas steady and will officially announce the decision later Thursday.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other key members of the group said theya€™re content with current oil prices.

In other Nymex trading, gasoline for October delivery rose 0.65 cent to $1.83 a gallon, and heating oil gained 0.82 cent to $1.80 a gallon. Natural gas rose 2.2 cents to $2.85 per 1,000 cubic feet.

In London, Brent crude was up 53 cents to $70.36.


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