Crude futures weaken on rising unemployment benefit claims in US

04 April 2013 15:24  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--NYMEX light-sweet crude oil futures weakened by more than $1.00/bbl on Thursday, pressured by rising unemployment benefit claims and high crude oil stocks in the US.

By 13:00 GMT, the front-month May NYMEX crude oil futures fell to an intra-day low of $93.02/bbl, a loss of $1.43/bbl compared with the close on Wednesday. The contract then edged higher to trade around $93.45/bbl.

At the same time, the front-month May ICE Brent contract was trading around $106.55/bbl, having touched an intra-day low at $106.18/bbl, a loss of 93 cents compared with the previous settlement.

The US economic recovery is beginning to show signs of weakening, as fresh claims for unemployment benefits in the US increased by around 28,000, according to the US Department of Labor.

In addition to the bearish jobs market, the US Federal Reserve indicated that it may taper its third round of quantitative easing in summer.

However, the Bank of Japan announced it will implement a new round of stimulus by purchasing 50 trillion yen worth of government bonds.

On Wednesday, the US Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration issued its weekly stock report, which showed that crude oil stocks increased by 2.1m barrels to 388.60m barrels, the highest level since 1990.

By: Kawai Wong
+44 20 8652 3214

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