Crude oil prices fell on Wednesday as the dollar continued its recovery from a four-year low struck last week.
Oil and other commodities, whose market pricing is denominated in dollars, benefit from a weaker US currency as demand from outside the US improves as investors and oil consumers receive a better exchange rate for their purchases.
Conversely, the trade-weighted dollar's 1.5% gain over the past four trading sessions has put pressure on oil prices as it makes imports in the dollar-denominated fuel more expensive for countries using other currencies.
Meanwhile, oil speculators and investors were awaiting data on US crude stockpiles.
Both the reports from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Energy Information Administration (EIA) release their stock reports a day late due to Monday's President's Day public holiday.
The API delivers its findings later on Wednesday, while the EIA's report is on Thursday. The market was expecting an increase of 3 million barrels of crude last week.
Most interestingly for investors in the US benchmark Nymex West Texas Intermediate (WTI) contract will be the data for the delivery hub at Cushing, Oklahoma, where recent drawdowns have resulted in a narrowing of the spread between WTI and Brent crude prices.
"A further drawdown at the WTI delivery hub is likely to continue seeing a narrowing in the Brent-WTI spread," said ING strategist Warren Patterson.
In late morning trade in London global benchmark Brent crude was down 0.49% at $64.93 a barrel, while Nymex WTI was down 0.79% at $61.30 a barrel - a difference in the spread of £3.63.