Oil prices dropped for a second day on 8 June as the dollar traded near its strongest in a month against the yen, reducing the investment appeal of commodities.

Crude oil for July 2009 delivery dropped as much as $0.66, or 1%, to $67.78 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was traded at $67.97 at 11.01am in Singapore.

The contract fell 0.5% to $68.44 a barrel on 5 June 2009 as the dollar gained after a stronger-than-forecast US jobs report.

Oil dropped as the dollar increased to the highest in more than two weeks against a basket of key currencies after increasing 1.5% on 5 June.

Daily production from the Kirkuk region of Iraq has risen 16% to 670,000 barrels on new wells and improved security, Aswat al-Iraq reported.

Futures went to $70.32 earlier that session, a six-month high, after the Labor Department’s May 2009 report showed the fewest job losses in eight months in the world’s largest oil-consuming nation.

Brent crude

Brent crude for July 2009 delivery dropped as much as $0.57, or 0.8%, to $67.77 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract was trading at $67.86 at 10.52am in Singapore.

New York oil futures have increased 38% in the past two months as an increase in equity markets lifted investor confidence and the dropping US dollar improved interest in oil, metals and other commodities.

The dollar advanced as much as 0.3% to $1.3927 per euro in early Asian trading, from $1.3968 late in New York last week. It went to a five-month low of $1.4338 on 3 June and traded at $1.3988 at 11.09am in Singapore.

Oil prices also rose in the past month as US stockpiles dropped and the nation’s refiners increased operating rates to a six-month high ahead of the summer holiday driving season. Holiday motoring coincides with the North Atlantic hurricane season in June to November, when tanker traffic and sometimes output in the Gulf of Mexico is disrupted.