Oil Gains After Choppy Trade, US August Crude Expires Above $50


NEW YORK, July 21 (Reuters) - Crude oil futures held on to gains after a volatile session that saw the U.S. front-month August contract expire and go off the board above $50 a barrel, with a weaker dollar providing support.

Weak U.S. RBOB gasoline futures helped curb gains for crude, especially Brent, traders said, as expectations that inventories rose again last week weighed on prices.

The dollar retreated from a three-month high against a basket of currencies on mild profit-taking and as the euro rebounded.

A rising dollar makes it more profitable for non-U.S. investors to sell dollar-denominated assets and a weaker greenback makes oil less expensive for consumers using other currencies.

Expectations of more Iranian supply following last week's agreement on Tehran's nuclear program and concerns that economic worries in China and Europe will weigh on demand have put pressure on oil this month.

Expiring U.S. August crude rose 21 cents to settle at $50.36 a barrel, after slipping to $49.77 intraday.

U.S. September crude settled at $50.86, up 42 cents.


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