The price of crude oil was little changed Thursday morning amid reports that oil production in Norway, the world's eighth-largest oil exporter, was down 240,000 bpd due to a strike by oil workers.
Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures for August delivery, edged down $0.30 to $79.91 a barrel. Yesterday, oil settled above the $80-mark for the first time in five sessions on some positive economic data and an Energy Information Administration report that showed U.S. oil stockpiles declined, although lesser than expected. Investors continued to focus on the upcoming European Union summit meeting, with little hopes for a positive outcome.
Wednesday during trading hours, the EIA said that U.S. crude oil inventories edged down 100,000 barrels, while gasoline stocks were up 2.10 million barrels in the weekended June 22. Analysts were expecting crude oil inventories to dip by 1 million barrels, while gasoline stocks were seen adding 300,000 barrels last week.
This morning, the U.S. dollar advanced near its one-month high versus the euro and moved up to a 2-week high against sterling. The buck was leveling off from its one-month high against the yen, while ticking higher versus the Swiss franc.
In economic news from the euro zone, unemployment in Germany increased more than expected in June, reports said citing data from the labor ministry. Unemployment rose by 7,000 in June from a month earlier compared to expectations for an increase of 3,000. The unemployment rate rose to 6.8 percent from 6.7 percent in May, while expectations were for a steady rate.
Meanwhile, euro zone economic confidence declined less than economists expected in June, survey results from European Commission showed. The economic confidence index fell to 89.9 in June from 90.5, but remains above the consensus forecast of 89.6. Falling confidence in industry, services and, to a lesser extent, among consumers was counterbalanced by improving confidence in retail trade and construction.
Traders will look to the final estimate of first quarter GDP from the U.S. Commerce Department, due out at 8.30 a.m ET. Economists expect GDP growth to be left unrevised at 1.9 percent.
Simultaneously, the Labor Department will come out with its customary weekly jobless claims data. Economists expect claims to edge down to 385,000 in the recent reporting week from 387,000 in the previous week.
by RTT Staff Writer
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