Oil dips on stronger dollar, jobless data

08:27, April 16, 2010      

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Oil prices dipped on Thursday as a rising dollar and increase in weekly jobless claims offset a surprise draw in U.S. crude inventory.

Light, sweet crude for May delivery fell 33 cents to settle at 85.51 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Oil prices soared two percent on Wednesday after government data showed crude stockpiles stripped a ten-week increasing streak and fell by 2.2 million barrels.

But energy commodities were pressured by disappointing jobless data. The U.S. Labor Department said that the number of people applying for unemployment benefits rose by 24,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 484,000, the highest level since late February. The report soured market sentiment as high unemployment rate was considered the biggest obstacle to a sustained recovery.

Meanwhile, the dollar continued to strengthen on Thursday, helping sending oil lower. Usually a strong greenback limits the appeal of energy commodities as an alternative investment.

In London, Brent crude for May delivery was recently 98 cents higher to 87.13 dollars a barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange.



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