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Crude futures remain above US$61 a barrel

CRUDE oil futures held above US$61 a barrel last Friday, helped by a weakening United States dollar and renewed fighting in oil-rich Nigeria, Africa's largest oil producer.

Benchmark crude for July delivery rose 62 US cents to settle at US$61.67 a barrel in light, pre-holiday trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent prices increased 85 US cents to settle at US$60.78 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

Crude prices have held around US$60, partly due to the falling value of the US dollar. Crude is priced in US dollars, so it becomes cheaper on international markets when the US dollar falls.

The US dollar fell to a four-month low against the euro.

Oil supplies have been in flux recently. OPEC countries have boosted exports by an estimated 200,000 barrels a day in the four weeks to June 6, according to tanker tracker Oil Movements.

Analyst Addison Armstrong also noted that Nigerian crude production dwindled to half the country's total capacity in April amid renewed fighting with militants who want to remove all oil workers from the region.

In other Nymex trading, gasoline for June delivery rose 4.11 US cents to settle at US$1.8408 a gallon.


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