NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Oil dipped to near $71 a barrel on Thursday as the dollar climbed to a three-month high against the euro.
"We had a strong dollar, and that was all about the fact that the Federal Reserve sent a very slight signal that we're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the economic stimulus," said Phil Flynn, a senior market analyst at PFG Best. "A strong dollar puts pressure on commodities."
Crude oil for January delivery fell 1 cent to settle at $72.65 a barrel after diving as low as $71.37 earlier. Prices climbed nearly 3% on Wednesday following an inventory report that showed an unexpected drop in oil supplies.
On Wednesday, the Fed said it would hold interest rates steady near 0%. In a statement accompanying the decision, Fed policymakers said they see market conditions improving. That helped push the dollar to its highest point since September.
The euro fell 1.3% to $1.435 against the greenback on Thursday after Standard & Poor's downgraded Greece's credit rating. This followed a downgrade by Fitch just over a week ago, when health care companies complained that the country was behind on public health care-system payments.
"People were buying the dollar because of both good news and bad news today," Flynn said. Some investors saw the Fed's statement as a positive signal for the economy, and others bought the dollar as a safe haven because they were worried about another credit crisis overseas.
Gasoline prices. The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas fell to $2.590, down four tenths of a cent from the previous day's price of $2.594, according to motorist group AAA. This is the ninth consecutive day prices have declined.
|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||4.53%||4.33%|
|15 yr fixed||3.90%||3.77%|
|30 yr refi||4.52%||4.30%|
|15 yr refi||3.88%||3.74%|
Today's featured rates:
Companies that bet on the future are winning More
US regulators are close to slapping Wells Fargo with a $1 billion fine for forcing customers into car insurance and charging mortgage borrowers unfair fees. More
Amazon will report earnings after the bell on Thursday. Here's what to watch for. More
In 1998, Ntsiki Biyela won a scholarship to study wine making. Now she's about to launch her own brand. More
Programs, clubs and even T-shirts promise gender equality ? for a price. More