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Crude oil futures remain lower after U.S. economic data

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Shutterstock photo - - Crude oil futures held on to losses on Thursday, as investors digested a mixed bag of U.S. economic data on manufacturing activity, housing starts and jobless claims.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in November lost 36 cents, or 0.39%, to trade at $92.84 a barrel during U.S. morning hours.

Prices traded in a range between $92.50 and $93.59. Futures were likely to find support at $91.52 a barrel, the low from September 16 and resistance at $94.12, the high from September 16.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that its manufacturing index deteriorated to a three-month low of 22.5 in September from August's reading of 28.0. Analysts had expected the index to decline to 23.0 this month.

The data came after the U.S. Commerce Department said that the number of building permits issued in August dropped by 5.6% to 998,000 units, while housing starts tumbled by 14.4% to 956,000 units.

Separately, the U.S. Department of Labor said earlier that the number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week fell by 36,000 to 280,000, the lowest level since mid-July.

Analysts had expected jobless claims to fall by 11,000 to 305,000 last week.

A stronger dollar has also kept pressure on oil and other commodities priced in the currency.

The greenback rose to its highest level in six years against the yen USD/JPY, while the euro EUR/USD slid to fresh 14-month lows after the Federal Reserve brought forward its outlook for rising interest rates.

For the end of 2015, the median forecast was 1.375% compared to a June forecast of 1.125%.

The U.S. central bank cut its monthly bond-buying program by another $10 billion following its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday, keeping the program on track to finish next month.

Markets interpreted the Fed's statement as hawkish, despite policymakers maintaining language suggesting that rate hikes would not happen for a "considerable time."

A day earlier, U.S. oil prices lost 61 cents, or 0.65%, to settle at $93.20 a barrel after data showed that oil supplies in the U.S. rose for the first time in five weeks last week.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said that U.S. crude oil inventories increased by 3.7 million barrels last week, compared to expectations for a decline of 1.7 million barrels.

Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 362.3 million barrels, the highest level for this time of year since 2012.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for November delivery declined 53 cents, or 0.53%, to trade at $98.45 a barrel during the European morning session.

London-traded Brent prices have slid in recent weeks on concerns that global supply remains ample while demand remains weak. 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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