Crude oil gained as the dollar decline spurred investors to buy commodities as an alternative investment, Bloomberg reported.

Crude oil for September 2009 delivery added as much as $0.68, or 1%, to $67.43 a barrel in after-hours electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

It was at $67.09 a barrel at 11.21am Singapore time. On 17 August it dropped $0.76 to $66.75, the lowest settlement since 29 July.

Oil’s gain came as the euro strengthened on expectations that German investor confidence climbed. Crude declined 5.3% in the past two days as global equity declines raised concerns of slower economic recovery.

US crude oil stockpiles possibly climbed for a fourth week as refiners have reduced operating rates, a Bloomberg News survey showed.

Inventories rose 1.35 million barrels last week from 352 million, according to the median of eight estimates by analysts surveyed before an Energy Department report on 19 August.

Brent crude oil for October 2009 settlement gained as much as $0.40, or 0.6%, to $70.94 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange. It was at $70.57 a barrel at 11.22am Singapore time. The contract declined $0.90, or 1.3%, to settle at $70.54 a barrel yesterday.