Oil falls on jobless data, inventory increase

08:36, April 09, 2010      

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Oil prices fell for a second day on Thursday as soaring jobless benefit claims and a larger-than- expected buildup in crude inventory outweighed upbeat retail sale data.

The U.S. Labor Department reported on Thursday that the number of people filing for jobless benefits for the first time jumped 18, 000 to a seasonally adjusted 460,000, while economists were expecting the number to drop to 435,000.

Meanwhile, another increase in fuel supplies still weigh on the market. The latest government data showed that crude stockpiles increased by 2.0 million barrels last week, exceeding average forecasts and marking the tenth consecutive weekly increase. Distillates, which include heating oil and diesel, rose by 1.1 million barrels, first gain in ten weeks.

The jobless data and inventory report exacerbated investors' concerns about weak energy demand, offsetting record increase in same-store sales from top U.S. retail chains.

Light, sweet crude for May delivery fell 49 cents to settle at 85.39 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In London, Brent crude for May delivery fell 33 cents to 85.26 dollars a barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange.

Source: Xinhua


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