Thursday, August 26, 2010

Crude Oil Rises for Second Day on U.S. Jobless Claims Report

Crude oil rose the most in more than three weeks as applications for U.S. unemployment benefits dropped more than forecast, easing concern about the labor market amid other signals the economy is slowing. Oil jumped as much as 2 percent after the Labor Department in Washington reported initial jobless claims fell for the first time in a month in the week ended Aug. 21. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fluctuated after yesterday’s gain and the dollar fell against the euro, boosting commodities as an alternative investment.

“The four horsemen that matter to oil are all galloping in the same direction today, with a stronger stock market, weaker dollar, better than expected jobs and lower Cushing inventories,” said Adam Sieminski, chief energy economist at Deutsche Bank AG in Washington. Crude oil for October delivery rose $1.01, or 1.4 percent, to $73.53 a barrel at 11:34 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures have dropped 11 percent since Aug. 3. They have risen 2.9 percent in the past year.

Jobless claims declined by 31,000 last week to 473,000. The median estimate of 48 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News forecast the figure would drop to 490,000. The S&P 500 gained 0.72 points to 1,056.05. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.2 points to 10,057.86. The dollar traded at $1.2706 per euro, down 0.4 percent from $1.2659 yesterday. The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 commodities advanced 0.8 percent to 263.99, the first increase in seven days. Seventeen of the commodities gained, led by copper, heating oil and gasoline.
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