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Crude oil futures almost unchanged ahead of U.S. data

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Investing.com -

Investing.com - Crude oil futures were almost unchanged on Friday, as markets awaited the release of U.S. nonfarm payrolls data later in the day after last week's jobless claims came out higher than expected.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange,U.S. crude oil for delivery in July traded at $102.53 a barrel during European morning trade, up 0.05%.

Prices slipped 0.16% on Thursday to settle at $102.48.

Futures were likely to find support at $101.60 a barrel, Thursday's low and resistance at $103.69 a barrel, the high from June 4.

Market participants were now eyeing U.S. nonfarm payrolls data to be released later in the day for further indications on the strength of the job market after recent employment reports fuelled investors' concerns.

On Thursday, the Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending May 31 increased by 8,000 to 312,000 from the previous week's revised total of 304,000. Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise by 6,000 to 310,000 last week.

The report came a day after payroll processing firm ADP said non-farm private employment rose by 179,000 in May, below expectations for an increase of 210,000. April's figure was revised down to a gain of 215,000 from a previously reported increase of 220,000.

Meanwhile, the announcement of fresh stimulus measures by the European Central Bank sparked optimism over stronger economic growth in the euro zone, possibly boosting demand for crude oil.

ECB President Mario Draghi said on Thursday that the bank is prepared to act swiftly with further monetary easing measures, including asset-backed security purchases, in case of a prolonged period of low inflation.

Speaking at the ECB's post-policy meeting press conference, Draghi also said that the central bank we will be conducting a series of Targeted Longer Term Refinancing Operations (TLTROs), to support bank lending.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil for July delivery inched up 0.06% to trade at $108.85 a barrel, with the spread between the Brent and crude contracts standing at $6.32 a barrel.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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