The weak dollar's leading role in oil's ascent to record highs is partly due to a tide of financial flows into commodity investments but also reflects a shift in the greenback's relationship with crude.
The dollar has traditionally influenced the price of oil and other commodities, including gold and base metals, which are mostly priced in the currency and usually move to compensate for changes in the its value.
So the steep fall in the dollar to record lows against the euro, for example, has helped drive oil to a record of $83.90 a barrel, reached on Sept. 20.
"I'm certainly in the camp of dollar weakness driving crude strength," said Anatol Feygin, head of global commodity strategy at Bank of America.
"With growing OECD inventories, revised lower demand, increased OPEC production and a relatively mild hurricane season, the dollar seems to be much more the issue."
That, analysts say, is because one aspect of its longstanding relationship with oil is changing.
In the past, dollars earned by oil producers flowed into U.S. dollar assets or investments.
The Gulf countries are thought to hold around $3.5 trillion in total dollar reserves, according to Lehman Brothers research....MORE
That's a lot of money. Let's depreciate it.
See how scummy it sounds when you actually say it?