Investing.com - Oil prices rose in U.S. trading on Thursday after official data released earlier revealed the U.S. economy continues to recuperate from the 2008-2009 recession and subsequent years of sluggish recovery and will likely demand more fuels and energy going forward.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in May traded up 0.22% at USD96.79 a barrel on Thursday, off from a session high of USD96.95 and up from an earlier session low of USD96.27.
The U.S. Commerce Department reported earlier that the country's gross domestic product expanded by 0.4% in the fourth quarter of last year, missing market forecasts for a 0.5% expansion.
The growth rate was the slowest since the first quarter of 2011, though the figure did outpace initial estimates for growth of 0.1%, which sent oil gaining to near 5-week highs earlier.
A higher-than-expected number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits for the first time capped gains.
The U.S. Labor Department reported earlier that the number of people filing for initial jobless claims rose by 16,000 to 357,000 last week, defying market calls for a drop of 1,000 to 340,000.
Elsewhere on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for May delivery were down 0.23% at USD109.44 a barrel, up USD12.65 from its U.S. counterpart.
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