Oil prices fell in choppy trading on Monday after an inventory spike at a key storage base for U.S. crude although a weaker dollar limited the market's downside, keeping it not far from five-month highs.
Market intelligence firm Genscape reported that stockpiles at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery point for U.S. crude futures rose 1,549,705 barrels in the week to April 22, traders said.
The front-month contract in U.S. crude's West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures was down 50 cents, or 1%, at $43.50 a barrel by 11:20 a.m. EDT. It fell earlier to $42.81 after rising to a session high of $44.04. On Friday, it hit a five-month high of $44.49.
Brent's front-month slid 27 cents, or 0.6%, to $44.84 per barrel. It hit a mid-November high of $46.18 in the previous session.
Trading was choppy, with crude prices initially building on gains over the past three weeks before sliding on the Genscape report, crude brokers said.
The dollar's slide after a three-day gain, however, provided some support to oil as commodities denominated in the greenback became attractive again to users of the euro and other currencies.
"There's little fundamental news for today, so the stock build in Cushing is what people are looking at, although the weaker dollar is balancing some of that," said one broker.