31 May 2013 14:31 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Crude oil futures weakened on Friday pressured by unemployment rates rising to a new record high in the eurozone and OPEC agreeing to maintain production.
By 13:12 GMT, the front-month July NYMEX WTI contract touched an intra-day low at $92.43/bbl, a loss of $1.18/bbl compared to the previous close. The contract then moved higher to trade around $92.65/bbl.
At the same time, the front-month July ICE Brent contract was trading around $101.35/bbl, having touched an intra-day low at $101.24/bbl, a loss of 95 cents/bbl compared to the previous settlement.
Unemployment levels in the 17-nation eurozone reached a fresh record high, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU. The seasonally adjusted rate for April was at 12.20%, up from the previous month's 12.10%.
Away from the eurozone, oil cartel OPEC met on Friday and agreed to maintain the group’s collective 30m bbl/day output for the rest of the year, despite falling demand for oil and rising production from the US.
Adding to the bearish tone in the market, some Asia stock indices settled in negative territory on Friday, including Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index and China’s Shanghai Composite index. However, Japan’s Nikkei 225 fared much better gaining 1.37% at the settlement after losing more than five percent in Thursday’s trade.
In Europe, UK’s FTSE 100, France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s Dax Index were all trading in negative territory.
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