WTI gains as US jobless benefit claims fall to five-year low

24 January 2013 14:56  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--US crude oil futures surged by more than $1.00/bbl (€0.75/bbl) on Thursday in reaction to US jobless claims falling to a 5-year low.

By 14:15 GMT, the front-month March NYMEX WTI crude oil contract touched an intra-day high at $96.41/bbl, a gain of $1.18/bbl compared to Wednesday’s settlement. The contract subsequently edged lower to trade around $96.25/bbl.

At the same time the front-month March ICE Brent contract was trading around $112.70/bbl, having touched an intra-day high earlier in the day at $112.93/bbl, a gain of 13 cents/bbl compared to the previous settlement.

The US Labor department published its weekly jobs report on Thursday, which showed that the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits had fallen by 5,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 330,000 – the lowest level since January 2008.

The NYMEX was also supported by HSBC’s China flash purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for January, which rose to 51.90 points, a two-year high according to preliminary data. In December last year, China’s manufacturing sector scored 51.50 points. Any figure above 50.00 points indicates growth in the sector.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Kawai Wong
+44 20 8652 3214

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