Oil retreated below a barrel on Monday in volatile trade that saw it briefly hit an all-time high earlier in the session. United States light crude, down more than at one point, rallied to a new record of ,40 a barrel, but by 4.17pm GMT it was ,04 down at ,92. London Brent crude futures, whose nearby contracts have moved into contango, fell ,78 down to ,62.
Oil powered to a new record above a barrel on Wednesday, closing in on its inflation-adjusted lifetime peak, as an ailing dollar on worsening United States economic data triggered a surge across commodities markets. US crude stood 15 cents higher at ,03 a barrel by 1pm GMT, off its new record high of ,08.
Oil recouped early losses to resume its march towards the -milestone on Thursday as resurfacing worries of tight winter supplies and continuing dollar weakness put the brakes on some early profit-taking. By 12.57pm GMT, United States crude for December delivery stood 57 cents up at ,94.
Oil leapt more than a barrel to a new record high of ,44 on Tuesday, as a weak dollar and tight fuel stocks prompted buying by speculators. Investors, wary of global equity markets where the full impact of the credit crunch has yet to become clear, see oil as a good bet.