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Crude Oil Higher But Below $50

Crude oil prices rose Thursday, pushing back toward monthly highs as calm returned to Wall Street following yesterday's panic over political turbulence.

Traders reflected on EIA data showing another significant drawdown in U.S. oil inventories, the sixth straight weekly decline from record highs.

WTI oil for June oil settled up 28 cents, or 0.6%, at $49.35/oz.

In economic news, Philadelphia-area manufacturing activity has unexpectedly expanded at a faster pace in the month of May, according to a report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia on Thursday.

The Philly Fed said its index for current manufacturing activity in the region climbed to 38.8 in May from 22.0 in April, with a positive reading indicating growth. The index had been expected to dip to 19.5.

Meanwhile, initial jobless claims edged down to 232,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 236,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to rise to 240,000.

by RTT Staff Writer

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