U.S. crude oil ended modestly lower in a seesaw session on Friday, as the dollar gained following better-than-expected U.S. consumer data, although concerns about tightening international supplies lent support.
A widely watched gauge of U.S. consumer sentiment came in stronger than expected, although the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) came in below expectations.
Federal Reserve governors earlier said the bank was in no rush to curtail its bond-buying program, but investors have been interpreting positive data as signs the Fed policy could shift
Comments by Fed governors on Friday appeared to allay investors' concerns the policy change would derail growth and dampen oil demand in the world's top oil consumer.
The dollar rose against the yen and euro on Friday, as investors again began pricing in the possibility that the Fed could begin to downsize its bond-buying program as soon as the September policy meeting.
A strong U.S. currency makes dollar-denominated commodities such as Brent crude oil more expensive for holders of other currencies, and weighs on prices.
Oil prices seesawed back and forth throughout the session, which was the last of the second quarter. Brent rose initially on positive data on German retail sales and reassuring comments from the governor of the People's Bank of China that the world's second-largest oil consumer was not in a credit crunch.
"Those were early helpful factors, but since then, we've had the dollar index turning around and rallying sharply and taking the steam out of crude oil," said Addison Armstrong, director of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.
"And some of the U.S. macroeconomic reports weren't helpful, particularly the Chicago PMI, which came in so poorly."
Brent crude oil futures traded near $103, off about 77 cents on the day. U.S. crude oil settled at $96.56, down 49 cents on the day. For the quarter, U.S. oil ended down about 0.7 percent, according to Reuters data, but posted a 5 percent gain in June.