Investing.com - Crude prices eased further in Asia on Friday on
growing U.S. crude stockpiles and prospects for higher exports by
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate
Crude Oil for delivery in June traded at $99.30 a barrel, down
0.12%, after hitting an overnight session low of $98.76 a barrel
and a high of $99.89 a barrel.
Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange fell 31 cents, or 0.3%,
to $107.76 a barrel on Thursday, the lowest settlement since April
Overnight, crude futures fell after a Chinese factory barometer
missed market forecasts, though positive spending and factory data
out of the U.S. cushioned losses.
Data released earlier showed that China's official manufacturing
purchasing managers' index inched up to 50.4 in April, missing
expectations for a 50.5 reading, though higher than the 50.3
reported last month.
The Asian nation is the world's second largest oil consumer
after the U.S. and has been the engine of strengthening demand, and
while the data missed consensus forecasts, it was still above 50,
which indicates expansion, which kept
from posting steeper declines.
Also dampening prices were anticipation for increase exports
Libyan government officials and rebels reached an agreement to
re-open oil ports in recent weeks, and expectations for crude to
begin flowing sent investors bracing for increased global
In the U.S., disappointing jobless claims numbers pressured
prices lower though better-than-expected consumer spending and
manufacturing figures cushioned losses.
The Department of Labor reported earlier that the number of
individuals filing for initial jobless benefits last week rose by
14,000 to 344,000 from the previous week's upwardly revised total
Analysts had expected jobless claims to fall by 11,000 to
Separately, the Commerce Department reported earlier that U.S.
personal spending rose 0.9% in March from an upwardly revised 0.5%
the previous month, beating expectations of 0.6%.
Consumer spending is the single biggest component of U.S.
economic growth, accounting for as much as two-thirds of economic
The report added that personal income rose 0.5%, beating
expectations for a 0.4% increase.
Separately, the Institute for Supply Management said its
manufacturing PMI rose to 54.9 last month from 53.7 in March,
outpacing expectations for a 54.3 reading.
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