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Crude oil futures edge higher but gains seen limited

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Shutterstock photo - - Crude oil futures edged higher on Friday, but gains were expected to remain limited as Thursday's globally positive U.S. economic reports lent support to the U.S. dollar.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, U.S.c rude oil for delivery in June traded at $101.77 a barrel during European morning trade, up 0.26%.

Prices declined 0.85% on Thursday to settle at $101.50.

Futures were likely to find support at $100.36 a barrel, the low from May 13 and resistance at $102.64 a barrel, the high from May 14.

On Thursday, The U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending May 10 fell by 24,000 to 297,000 from the previous week's revised total of 321,000. Analysts had expected jobless claims to fall by 1,000 to 320,000 last week.

A separate report showed that U.S. core consumer price inflation, which excludes food and energy, rose by 0.2% last month, more than the expected 0.1% uptick, while consumer price inflation rose 0.3% in April, in line with expectations.

In addition, the Federal Reserve of Philadelphia said its manufacturing index ticked down to 15.4 this month, from a reading of 16.6 in April, compared to expectations for a fall to 14.0.

The New York Fed said its manufacturing index climbed to a more than two-year high of 19.01 in May, from a reading of 1.29 in April. Analysts had expected the index to rise to 5.00 this month.

U.S. industrial production dropped 0.6% last month, confounding expectations for a 0.1% rise. March's figure was revised up to a 0.9% increase from a previously estimated 0.7% gain.

Meanwhile, investors continued to monitor developments in Ukraine as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Russia it faced broader economic and industrial sanctions if it meddled in Ukraine's presidential elections on May 25.

Russia produced 10.4 million barrels of oil per day in 2012 and exported 7.4 million, making it the world's second largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil for June delivery edged up 0.09% to trade at $109.17 a barrel, with the spread between the Brent and crude contracts standing at $7.4 a barrel. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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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.

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