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Oil Fluctuates as U.S. Jobless Claims Rise: Report

Crude fluctuated near a three-month high as more Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week and on estimates that U.S. oil inventories decreased, Bloomberg reported.

Prices were little changed as the Labor Department reported jobless claims rose 10,000 to 372,000 in the week ended Dec. 29. Oil supplies probably fell to 370.6 million, the lowest level since October, a Bloomberg survey of analysts showed before government report tomorrow. Oil dropped earlier on concern that the new U.S. budget won't reduce the deficit fast enough.

West Texas Intermediate for February delivery slipped 6 cents to $93.06 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures climbed to $93.12 a barrel yesterday, the highest settlement for a contract nearest to expiration since Sept. 18.

Brent for February settlement slid 14 cents to $112.33 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

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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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