- POSTED: 27 Sep 2013 04:16
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Global oil prices rose on Thursday as upbeat US jobs data helped the US benchmark contract break a five-day losing streak.
NEW YORK: Global oil prices rose on Thursday as upbeat US jobs data helped the US benchmark contract break a five-day losing streak.
New York's West Texas Intermediate for November delivery for November delivery finished at $103.03 a barrel, up 37 cents from Wednesday's closing level.
The European benchmark, Brent North Sea crude for November, rose 89 cents to $109.21 a barrel in London trade.
WTI managed a modest gain "after US initial claims for unemployment benefits were lower than expected," said Tim Evans of Citi Futures.
New US jobless claims, an indicator of the pace of layoffs, fell by 5,000, to 305,000, in the week ending September 21, according to the Labour Department.
The jobless claims report, along with economic growth data confirming an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the second quarter, "make investors believe demand should pick up" in the world's largest economy, said Bart Melek of TD Securities.
"Overall, we continue to view the market as fragile on easing geopolitical tensions and what was a lacklustre DoE weekly inventory report for last week, but the market seems to keep drawing a modicum of buying interest anyway," Evans said.
The US Department of Energy reported on Wednesday a surprise jump in US crude oil commercial stockpiles last week, by 2.6 million barrels, instead of the drop of 900,000 barrels expected.
The West and oil-producer Iran continued to take steps on Thursday toward easing the standoff over Tehran's nuclear programme, with diplomats meeting at the United Nations.
Iran is seeking an end to international sanctions imposed over Iran's alleged nuclear weapons development. Iran denies the claim and insists its programme is for peaceful purposes.
The oil market was subdued ahead of next week's National Day holiday in China, the world's top energy consumer, and the close of the third quarter on Monday.
"A lot of companies are cleaning up the books, so there is not a lot of trading," said Carl Larry of Oil Outlooks and Opinions.