Investing.com - U.S. crude oil futures settled near six-week
highs on Thursday as concerns over the crisis in Ukraine continued
to underpin prices, while upbeat U.S. economic data bolstered the
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil futures for
delivery in May ended Thursday's session at $104.58 a barrel, not
far from the peaks of $104.97 reached in the previous session.
Trading on the NYMEX was closed for Good Friday.
Nymex oil futures ended the holiday shortened week with gains of
Oil futures moved higher after upbeat U.S. data on manufacturing
and employment pointed to underlying strength in the economy.
The Labor Department reported the number of people filing for
unemployment benefits edged up to 304,000, below analysts'
forecasts and not far from the six-and-a-half year low of 300,000
touched the previous week.
A separate report showed that manufacturing activity in the
Philadelphia region strengthened more than forecast in April.
Crude prices were also supported as heightened tensions between
Russia and Ukraine fanned fears over possible supply disruptions
from Russia, the world largest energy exporter.
Concerns over the crisis in eastern Ukraine eased somewhat on
Thursday after Russia, Ukraine, the U.S. and the European Union
said an agreement on steps to "de-escalate" the crisis had been
Heightened geopolitical risk overshadowed a report on Wednesday
showing a far larger than expected increase in U.S. crude oil
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly
report that U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 10.01 million
barrels in the week ended April 11. It was the largest inventory
build since March 2001. Analysts had expected an injection of 2.25
Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 394.1 million barrels,
the most since June.
Gasoline inventories decreased by 0.2 million barrels, compared
to forecasts for a decline of 1.66 million barrels, the EIA said,
while distillate stockpiles decreased by 1.27 million barrels.
The May Brent oil contract ended Thursday's session $109.69 on
the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, and ended the week
with gains of 0.73%.
The spread between the Brent and the Nymex crude contracts stood
at $5.11 a barrel by close of trade, compared to $4.00 in the
offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial
Read more News on Investing.com and download the new
Investing.com Stocks & Forex App