Oil dips as jobless claims soar

Oil dipped toward $75 per barrel on Thursday, paring earlier gains, after a surprise rise in U.S. unemployment claims to a nine-month high was balanced by an upgrading of Germany’s growth forecast by its central bank.

The U.S. jobless figures heightened concerns about the pace of recovery in the U.S., the world’s largest economy. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 500,000 in the week ended August 14, the highest since mid-November, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast claims slipping to 476,000 from the previously reported 484,000 the prior week, which was revised up to 488,000 in Thursday’s report.

A Labor Department official said there was nothing unusual in the state level data. The data covered the survey week for the government’s closely watched employment report for August, scheduled for release early next month.

U.S. September crude was down 6 cents to $75.36 a barrel. ICE front-month Brent fell 23 cents to $76.24.

However, oil found some support from a rally in equity markets in Asia and Europe. European shares rose after Germany’s central bank upgraded its forecast for this year’s economic growth.

Analysts downplayed the effect on oil prices of deepening tensions between Iran and the United States. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s supreme leader, said on Wednesday that Iran would not talk with the U.S. in the current climate.

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Posted on August 19, 2010, in Energy, Job Search, Newspaper & Journal Articles and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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