Oil prices tumble on weak U.S. job data

07:59, February 05, 2010      

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Oil prices tumbled on Thursday as a weak U.S. job report sparked worries about economic outlook.

Light, sweet crude for March delivery fell 3.84 U.S. dollars to settle at 73.14 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In London, Brent crude for March delivery fell 3.90 dollars to 72.02 dollars a barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange.

U.S. initial claims for jobless benefits rose unexpectedly to 480,000 in the week ending Jan. 30 from 472,000 previously, the Labor Department reported. The report suggests that the underlying trend in claims has deteriorated.

The four-week average, which smoothes fluctuations, rose for the third straight week to 469,000, the highest level in the past two months.

Oil prices were also hit by a stronger dollar as investors worried about Greece's fiscal problem and economic health of the eurozone.

The euro area economy is expected to grow only at a moderate pace in 2010 and the recovery process could be uneven, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said Thursday after the bank decided to leave key interest rates unchanged.

Source: Xinhua
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