Forexpros - Crude oil futures fell back in Asian trade Thursday, after getting a brief bounce from encouraging labor data in the U.S. and expectations of increased demand from the world's largest energy consumer.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange light, sweet crude futures for September delivery traded at USD85.21 a barrel during early Asian trade, falling 0.41%, after hitting a daily high of USD85.75.
On Thursday, a U.S. Labor Department report revealed that initial jobless claims dropped by 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 395,000 last week. Market expectations were for the number to rise to 401,000 for the week ending August 6.
It was the first time that U.S. jobless claims dipped below 400,000 since early April.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Energy Information Administration announced Wednesday that U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 5.2 million barrels last week, the steepest drop since last December 17.
Market expectations were for a 1.5 million barrel increase.
As of last week, total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 349.8 million barrels, marginally higher than the seasonal average.
A rising U.S. dollar, pushed higher by the better-than-expected labor figures, contributed to lower oil prices as dollar-denominated oil futures contracts tend to fall when the dollar gains.
The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, rose 0.14% to 74.88.
On the ICE Futures Exchange Brent oil futures for September delivery fell 0.52% to trade at USD107.41.
Retail sales figures for the month of July were due out Friday from the U.S. Census Bureau, an indication to the market of trends in consumer demand.