Cayman Net News
   Welcome to Cayman Net News Online: Today's print edition 
Search: web our site     

News from the Cayman Islands for
Prev    Next

Oil falls from seven week high on US jobless claims

Published on Sunday, August 23, 2009 Email To Friend    Print Version

Gas pumps with Diesel and E-85 fuels are seen in Hudson, WI. (AFP PHOTO)

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices fell, after briefly reaching a seven-week high on Thursday, as an unexpected rise in new U.S. jobless claims cast a shadow over a recovery in the economy and oil demand.

U.S. crude for September delivery, which expires on Thursday’s close, last traded at 11 cents lower at $72.31 a barrel at 2:30 p.m. EDT. Brent futures fell 1.19 cents a barrel to $73.40.

Oil markets have been watching broader economic indicators for signs a recession may soon end, which could foreshadow a rebound in slumping fuel demand.

The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits last week unexpectedly rose to 576,000 from 561,000 two weeks before.

The index of U.S. leading economic indicators rose for a fourth month in July, signaling that a recession is abating. The index rose a less-than-expected 0.6 percent, versus analyst forecasts for a 0.7 percent rise.

“It looks like the oil rally has stalled and we’re consolidating in the $72 a barrel range,” said Gene McGillian, analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

Crude prices have risen from lows below $33 a barrel in December amid hopes for an economic rebound.

Crude has been tracking gains in U.S. stocks. .N The S&P 500 index rose 0.5 percent to 1281.09 at 1800 GMT. The U.S. dollar was down 0.08 percent against a basket of foreign currencies.

Earlier, U.S. oil prices jumped to a seven-week high of $72.88, supported by a 4.5 percent surge in Chinese stocks, with investors drawn to attractive valuations after a 20 percent plunge in Chinese shares over the previous two weeks.

Oil prices steadied after jumping 4.7 percent on Wednesday, when data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed an unexpected steep drop in U.S. crude stocks two weeks ago.

Oil markets were also starting to focus on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ September 9 meeting, where the producer group was expected to leave output targets unchanged, according to delegates and analysts.

OPEC last year agreed to a series of output cuts to help stem the sharp decline in oil prices.

In addition, traders focused on more efforts by financial regulators in the U.S. and Europe to stem violent oil price swings.

The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the United Kingdom’s Financial Services Authority said they have agreed on steps to strengthen cross border supervision of energy futures markets.

The measures could prompt more reporting on the aggregate positions held by crude oil traders on both U.S. and British exchanges, analysts said.

Reads : 1603


No comment for this topic yet. Be the first one to give comment.


Send us your comments!  

Send us your comments on this article for publication in our Readers' Forum or as a Letter to the Editor. All fields are required and in the interest of openness and transparency we will no longer accept anonymous submissions. We therefore request that all submissions include a name for publication, regardless of content. We will in special circumstances protect a writer's identity only after we have established good cause for anonymity, otherwise we will not be able to publish the submission.

For your contribution to reach us, you must (a) provide a valid e-mail address and (b) click on the validation link that will be sent to the e-mail address you provide.  If the address is not valid or you don't click on the validation link, it will be a waste of your time typing your submission because we will never see it!

Your Name:
Your Email: (Validation required)
Enter Validation Code *

Click here for the latest print edition