The dollar slid to 22-month lows against a basket of currencies .DXY. A weaker dollar usually spurs buying of commodities priced in the greenback, like oil, because they become cheaper for holders of other currencies.
Brent crude LCOc1 rose 15 cents, or 0.4%, to $43.46 a barrel by 0137 GMT, and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 rose by 12 cents, or 0.3%, to $41.19.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose to 1.416 million last week for the first time in nearly four months, suggesting U.S. economic recovery is stalling amid a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.
While the rise in infections has fanned fears of renewed government lockdowns, worries that oil demand could be hit have been exacerbated by tensions between the United States and China – the world’s top two oil consumers.