Oil traded near its highest since June 2009 as the dollar fell to a one-week low and US inventories dropped the most in 15 months, Bloomberg reported.

Crude oil for September 2009 delivery traded at $72.35 a barrel, down 7¢, on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11.27am Singapore time.

On August 19, 2009, the contract rose $3.23, or 4.7%, to settle at $72.42, the highest settlement since 11 June 2009.

A US Energy Department report showed that the crude stockpiles in the US fell more than expected 8.4 million barrels last week, the most since the week ended 23 May 2008.

The dollar traded near a one-week low against the euro on speculation economic data will add to indication the global recession is easing.

The September 2009 contract expires on 20 August 2009. The more-active October 2009 contract was at $73.59 a barrel, down 24¢, at 10.09am Singapore time.

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By GlobalData

On August 19, 2009, the dollar traded at $1.4222 to the euro at 11.34am in Singapore from $1.4224 in New York, when it dropped 0.6%. The weaker dollar increased the appeal of commodities such as oil as alternative investments.

US oil imports fell 1.41 million barrels a day to 8.11 million, the biggest decline and lowest rate since September 2009 when hurricanes struck the Gulf of Mexico coast.

The Energy Department report showed that the crude inventories in the US declined to 343.6 million barrels. Crude-oil supplies were forecast to rise 1.2 million barrels, according to the median of 13 analyst responses in a Bloomberg News survey.

US refineries operated at 84% capacity last week, up 0.5% point from the previous week, the department said, down from 85.7% during the year-ago period.

Brent crude oil for October 2009 settlement was at $74.47 a barrel, down 12¢, on the London-based ICE Futures Europe Exchange at 11.34am Singapore time. The contract increased $2.22, or 3.1%, to end yesterday’s session at $74.59 a barrel.