The price of crude oil was lingering near $96 Thursday morning amid a generally steady U.S. dollar and on concerns over demand growth.
Meanwhile, the OPEC maintained its world oil demand growth in 2012 at 0.9 mbd amid stabilization of the US economy and the shutdown of Japanese nuclear power plants.
Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures for June delivery eased $0.38 to $96.43 a barrel.
Wednesday during trading hours, the EIA revealed that U.S. crude oil inventories jumped 3.70 million barrels, while gasoline stocks dipped by 2.60 million barrels in the weekended May 04. Analysts were expecting crude oil inventories to gain 2 million barrels last week.
This morning, the U.S. dollar was steady near its 3-month high versus the euro and a 3-week high against sterling, while trading flat versus the yen and the Swiss franc.
In economic news from the euro zone, the Bank of England held its interest rates at a record low of 0.50 percent and maintained the size of its bond buying program unchanged despite the double-dip recession domestically, as widely expected.
Meanwhile, U.K. industrial production declined in March from a month ago as expected by economists, while manufacturing output grew more than expected, data from the National Statistics Office showed. Industrial production dropped 0.3 percent month-on-month in March, reversing a 0.4 percent rise in February. Meanwhile, manufacturing output increased 0.9 percent, following a 1.1 percent drop a month ago. Economists were forecasting manufacturing output growth of 0.5 percent.
Traders will look to the weekly jobless claims data from the U.S. Labor Department due out at 8.30 a.m ET. Economists expect claims to edge up to 366,000 from 365,000 in the previous week.
Simultaneously, the Commerce Department is set to release its trade gap data for March. Economists estimate that the trade gap widened to $49.5 billion in the month after it narrowed to $46 billion in February.
by RTT Staff Writer
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