NEW YORK --- With the U.S. dollar gaining strength against the euro, oil futures traded in a narrow range Monday, the Associated Press reported.
Light, sweet crude for May delivery rose 8 cents to $101.92 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, May Brent crude rose 50 cents to $100.88 barrel on the ICE Futures exchange, AP reported. On Monday, prices alternated between gains and losses.
Oil prices dipped last week, partly triggered by concerns that Bear Stearns' bailout was a sign of major economic troubles. But those concerns were offset somewhat Monday by reports that JPMorgan Chase & Co. may raise its offer for Bear Stearns Cos. to $10 a share from $2. Also, reports surfaced that China's crude imports jumped 18 percent last month.
At the same time, trading today reflected the strengthening of the U.S. dollar. Investors often turn to commodities such as oil and gold as a hedge against inflation and a falling dollar. Also, a weaker dollar makes oil less expensive and more attractive to overseas investors. But that effect reverses when the dollar regains its strength like it did Monday, AP reported.